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Ready for a growth spurt

McNetiq, founded in 2014, offers the patented and award-winning Controlock technology. This magnet application is the most secure, cost-efficient, durable and flexible temporary steel connection without the use of (temporary) welds. The Controlock is the first magnet that can be tested and used on different surfaces. It offers considerable advantages compared to traditional steel connections, such as drilling and welding.

With this investment, we can further strengthen our organisation and give the product development a powerful boost. – Willem van der Graaf, McNetiq

McNetiq is ready to launch their product on a larger scale. Participation in the World Port Accelerator PortXL in 2017 contributed to the acceleration of the development and professionalisation of the company and was followed by the entry of the Rotterdam Port Fund.

Boosting product development

The company McNetiq fits the investment profile of the Rotterdam Port Fund. “The potential of the Controlock technology has been proven and extensively tested,” says Frans van der Harst of the Rotterdam Port Fund. “We are excited to support the company in their ambition to apply the technology internationally to many new products to be developed, in different market segments.”

“We are very happy with our new partners,” says director Willem van der Graaf of McNetiq. “With this investment, we can further strengthen our organisation and give the product development a powerful boost. It’s also nice to see that the innovation ecosystem works in Rotterdam.”

“We have been in touch with McNetiq for a long time and see enormous potential in this technology. It’s fantastic to see that the company will make a growth spurt with this investment.  We will support the company’s growth from our wide range of activities.” Says Francis Quint, Head of Capital at InnovationQuarter.

The Rotterdam Port Fund is an independent investment fund that invest in innovative companies with in port-related activities with attractive market prospects. The fund is an initiative of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, NIBC Bank, InnovationQuarter, Koninklijke Doeksen and the Rotterdam entrepreneurs Peter Goedvolk and Luc Braams.

New management

McNetiq’s innovative Controlock magnetic anchors enable cost-effective and safe performance of maintenance and repair work in steel environments. The magnetic anchor points are used in a variety of markets, including for scaffolding in the offshore petrochemical and maritime industry.

With the investment of the Fund, the composition of the management team will change. It will consist of Willem van der Graaf (CEO), founder Edwin van der Heide (CCO) and founder Bas Gravendeel (CTO/CRO).

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Concor Neonatal ontvangt startkapitaal voor te vroeg geboren babys_01-980x450px

Benefits of not immediately cutting the umbilical cord

In the Netherlands, approximately 12,000 children are born prematurely every year, more than 30 a day. Children born prematurely have a greater risk of permanent physical and mental complications.

We are very happy with this capital injection from UNIIQ, which will enable us to take an important step in ensuring that millions of babies born prematurely each year can receive improved care – Rianne Rotink,  CEO Concord Neonatal

The advantages of waiting several minutes before cutting the umbilical cord, or ‘delayed cord clamping’, have been recognised worldwide, not least because it affords higher chances of survival and less risk of complications. Unfortunately, babies that need urgent care are currently unable to reap the benefits of delayed cord clamping. In order to take them to a separate resuscitation table, the doctor must cut the umbilical cord immediately. To solve this problem, neonatologist Dr Arjan te Pas of Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) has developed Concord: “Waiting to clamp the umbilical cord until the infant is breathing properly ensures a better blood flow in the vulnerable new born baby”, explains Te Pas.

Concord keeps baby close to mother

Concord is an innovative delivery table that can be used for all births, both in delivery rooms and for caesarean sections in operating theatres. Immediately after birth, the baby can be placed on the bed, which is  positioned over the mother so that the umbilical cord can remain connected. Besides the advantage of better blood flow, the baby can stay close to its mother, allowing for instant bonding with her new born baby.

Concor Neonatal ontvangt startkapitaal voor te vroeg geboren babys_02-980x450px

Concord improves care in the first few critical minutes

To enable clinical research in various international hospitals and to market Concord worldwide, NLC – The Healthtech Venture Builder – founded the start-up Concord Neonatal BV. With UNIIQ’s investment, Concord Neonatal can develop the current prototype into a CE‑certified product and market it.

CEO Rianne Rotink explains: “Concord is a fantastic invention that can have a huge impact on the lives of these vulnerable babies and their families. We are very happy with this capital injection from UNIIQ, which will enable us to take an important step in ensuring that millions of babies born prematurely each year can receive improved care.”

“UNIIQ investments are focused on both the technical and market validation of a technology”, says Liduina Hammer, UNIIQ fund manager. “The developments planned at Concord fit seamlessly with our focus. It is a promising life-saving technology that could have a major impact on the care of premature babies in the future.”

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Speed reducers are used to ensure that the right amount of speed or torque by an (electric) motor is delivered for a specific application. IMSystems is one of the first companies that has been able to successfully apply the principle of frictional contact for speed reduction in a compact and lightweight gearbox, resulting in the Archimedes drive. The Archimedes Drive will know many applications in various industries, and especially in the robotized manufacturing industry.

We are convinced that the Archimedes Drive is a significant hardware breakthrough that allows robots to function optimally, with higher precision, less maintenance and at a fraction of the weight of competing drives – Jack Schorsch, founder and CEO of IMSystems

Industrial robots highly depend on the quality of gear teeth transmission. While software developments are moving rapidly, the lack of significant hardware breakthroughs is hampering robotic development. The Archimedes Drive is able to deliver the same amount of torque while being a fraction the weight of competing drives. Besides, it enables robots to operate with a much higher precision due to the lack of backlash traditional gear teeth do have. Furthermore, power transmission through friction nearly eliminates the need for lubrication, thereby lowering maintenance costs.

Jack Schorsch, founder and CEO of IMSystems: “The investment of UNIIQ will enable us to optimize our product more quickly, to ultimately get our product faster to market. We are convinced that the Archimedes Drive is a significant hardware breakthrough that allows robots to function optimally, with higher precision, less maintenance and at a fraction of the weight of competing drives.”

With the investment of UNIIQ the precision, reliability and lifetime of the Archimedes Drive will be tested in various setups. Following the technical validation, IMSystems expects in collaboration with leading robotics manufacturers to release a commercial product later this year. “And this focus on realizing commercial traction in an early phase is equally important”, says UNIIQs fundmanager Liduina Hammer. “We primarily invest in companies with pro-active teams that focus on both the technical and commercial part of their organisation”.

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ToxTracker is Toxys’ unique animal-free test system for identification of potentially carcinogenic properties of novel chemicals. ToxTracker combines multiple biomarkers to get mechanistic insight into the of action of (geno)toxic compounds. The assay not only includes markers for DNA damage, but also for a non-genotoxic mode of action, including oxidative stress, protein misfolding and cytotoxicity. The combination of multiple biomarkers results in a rich dataset and an extensive toxicological profile of the tested compounds tested.

Scheduled developments of ToxPlot

With the MIT grant, Toxplot will be further developed into a software platform that can be used by toxicology laboratories in the pharmaceutical, chemical and cosmetics industry.  The developed ToxPlot software package will consist of:

  • ToxPlot analysis tools for hypothesis-free data mining and analysis of the rich datasets obtained by ToxTracker.
  • A ToxTracker database containing extensive (geno)toxicity data from a large set of reference compounds.
  • Quantitative modelling and visualisation modules for quantitative analysis of the toxic properties of compounds to improve human risk assessment.

Cross-sector collaboration

This project combines the innovative in vitro toxicity screening tool developed by Toxys and the unique bioinformatics expertise at Omnigen. The combination of these disciplines will allow users to extract the most information from the biological data, thus adding value and insight into how their compounds respond.

Omnigen’s experience in working with genetic data and developing analysis tools is essential to deliver an user friendly software package with the necessary analytical power to get the most information out of the rich data sets generated by using ToxTracker. This will allow Toxys to offer the ToxPlot software together with a licensing option to their unique ToxTracker assay.

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Medisch Artificial Intelligence bedrijf Quantib uit Rotterdam

Faster and more objective diagnoses by automatic interpretation of MRI and CT scan data

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Quantib is one of the most renowned Dutch players in the field of medical AI applications. Quantib utilizes ML software for the segmentation, classification and quantification of medical images, improving diagnostic quality and allowing for a more efficient workflow of physicians and researchers. Quantib is a spin-off of the Erasmus MC, developing her products in close collaboration with the internationally recognized Biomedical Imaging Group Rotterdam (BIGR) under supervision of Prof. dr. Wiro Niessen.

Moreover, Quantib has strong partnerships with industry players (GE Healthcare, Philips and Intrasense) for research, development and the distribution of her products. Recently, Quantib received media coverage as winner of The Dutch Data Science prize. Quantib’s first products received FDA approval and CE marking in 2016 and focus on the detection and tracking of neurological disorders such as Parkinson, Multiple Sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

The investment allows Quantib to bring new ML applications to the market with regards to stroke, lung disorders, oncology and bone structures. Quantib will also establish new partnerships with leading international academic hospitals.

In conjunction with the investment, the management team has been reinforced with Arthur Post Uiterweer (former Philips and Boston Consulting Group) and Jorrit Glastra (former Shell). The supervisory board will consist of Prof. dr. Gabriel Krestin, Harm-Jan Wessels and health entrepreneur Jaap Maljers.

Investment in Quantib

Rudolf Scholte, CEO of Quantib: “Our software supports radiologists and neurologists with their objective assessment of MRI- and CT scans. Our deep learning algorithms can support better diagnoses, and a better assessment of treatments’ effectiveness. Up until now, our main focus was on brain disorders. This investment allows us to develop new products and to extend our team.”

“Quantib’s applications help standardise and speed up image analysis and allows for the detection of subtle changes over time. It increases the objectivity of the diagnostic process and therefore delivers an improved diagnosis combined with more efficient processes, positively impacting a large group of patients. We see large international growth opportunities for the company and we are proud to be a part of this development.” says Ewout Prins, Managing Partner Holland Venture.

Francis Quint, Head InnovationQuarter Capital: “Quantib facilitates faster, better and more efficient diagnoses, a fantastic result from the close collaboration with Erasmus MC. We are happy to support this Rotterdam-based company with their ambition to extend the range of their current technology to other applications.”

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Get in the Ring the Netherlands 2017

© Marco De Swart

Get in the Ring

Get in the Ring the Netherlands is organized by the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship (ECE) and supported by the City of Rotterdam and EY. The event took place for the fifth time in Rotterdam and is part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week, a week in which thousands of events take place worldwide that focus on entrepreneurship.

The startups are looking for customers and strategic partners for the growth of their company. ”There are a lot of opportunities for this during Get in the Ring Netherlands. The 70 multinationals and governmental organizations present are happy to be available as customers, suppliers or partners ” says Martin Luxemburg, director of the ECE. Based on requests from the startups, more than 600 speed dates with the participating organizations took place on Thursday. The effect of these conversations appears to be significant; 65 percent of the speed dates result in a follow-up conversation that in some cases even leads to a collaboration.

“It is still too early to say to which collaborations the conversations of this year will lead, but the City of Rotterdam is a nice example. Based on their participation with Get in the Ring last year the City of Rotterdam has started a project with a startup in solar panels that have been placed at test locations in the city” says Martin Luxemburg.

For the startups the speed dates were not the only activity; they were also challenged to qualify for the evening program to ascend the stage and to pitch their startup for a 700-strong audience (read: possible customers, partners or talent) in the ring. No competition without jury members, this year the Champion jury members were the founder of international software company WeTransfer; Bas Beerens, founder of scale-up YoungCapital; Rogier Thewessen, and entrepreneur Janneke Niessen.

Startups Kozie, LABFRESH en Convious winnen Get in the Ring Nederland

And the winners are…

The startups do not step in the ring alone, but will compete against an opponent in their own weightclass. Dementia technology startup Kozie took the win in the lightweight category against SeraNovo. Kozie develops multi-sensor technology that enhances the perception of people with dementia, so that demented people can recover memories from their childhood through a music pillow or music rug. The middleweight winner is LABFRESH after a strong pitch battle against Somnox. LABFRESH sells clothing of a special material that does not stain and smell. The heavyweight winner Convious offers a platform where people can buy tickets and determine the price themselves. Convious was in the ring against Felyx. The three winning startups receive a ticket to the Global Meetup of Get in the Ring. In addition, they receive 1 year access to the EY Finance Navigator. This Finance Navigator is the first corporate startup of EY and was launched yesterday during the event.

Get in the Ring The Netherlands is part of a worldwide network of the Get in the Ring Foundation, which annually organizes 150 events in 100 countries. The winning startups of all these events worldwide will meet in Cascais, Portugal, from 30 May to 1 June, during the Global Meetup of Get in the Ring. Entrepreneurs, investors and corporates can join the Global Meetup, which is entirely dedicated to establishing international connections.

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From left to right: Tim de Jong (UNIIQ), Ivo de Nooijer (LURIS), Tsinat Hailu (Director nonclinical Development Amylon Therapeutics), Robert Strijk, Alderman for Accessibility, Economic Affairs, City Centre and Culture City of Leiden, Liduina Hammer (UNIIQ)

Katwijkse Ziekte and CAA

Amylon Therapeutics develops a therapy against Katwijkse Ziekte, formally called Hereditary Cerebral Hemorrhage with Amyloidosis, Dutch Type (HCHWA-D). Katwijkse Ziekte is a heritable orphan disease which originates from the Dutch city of Katwijk. Currently, there is no therapy for the Katwijkse Ziekte and there is no effective therapy available to prevent the development of the disease. Patients, between 40 and 60 years of age, suffer of severe bleedings in the brain as a result of the development of Amyloïd bèta plaques in the blood vessels walls. Depending on the location and the impact of these bleedings, they can lead to paralysis, dementia, and even death. The progression of the disease is significant: after every event, the risk of new bleeding increases and the condition of the patient worsens with each bleeding. On top of that, the moment of the next bleeding is unpredictable.

I am delighted that with its investment UNIIQ provides Amylon Therapeutics the opportunity to continue the development of a therapy against Katwijkse Ziekte and making the next step towards clinical development – Thomas de Vlaam, founder and CEO Amylon Therapeutics

Katwijkse Ziekte is a special (hereditary) variation of Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy (CAA), a disease which is known to cause multiple hundreds of thousand of patients worldwide, which are affected by or die from the consequences of CAA every year. Another difference between Katwijkse Ziekte and CAA, apart from the fact that CAA is not hereditary, is that the time of onset of CAA is unpredictable. Besides these differences both diseases are similar. Therefore a development of a successful therapy against Katwijkse Ziekte could be a promising step towards finding a therapy for CAA and potentially Alzheimer’s disease, a disease which is also characterized by the formation of plaques in the brain.

Next step towards clinical development

Thomas de Vlaam: “Due to the hereditary dominant mutation we know for sure that Amyloïd bèta plaques will be formed in the brains of patients. By using our “exon skipping” technology Amylon will be able to stop the formation of the Amyloïd bèta. If we can stop the formation of the plaques we expect to stop the bleedings in the blood vessel walls as well.”. De Vlaam continues: “I am delighted that with its investment UNIIQ provides Amylon Therapeutics the opportunity to continue the development of a therapy against Katwijkse Ziekte and making the next step towards clinical development. Until now there is no cure or therapy for patients with Katwijkse Ziekte, we strive to make a change and help these people.”

“Today we have added another promising Leiden based biotech comapny to our portfolio”, mentioned Liduina Hammer, UNIIQ Fund manager. “By focusing on the development of a therapy for Katwijkse Ziekte Amylon will solve an unmet need: there is no cure or therapy against Katwijkse Ziekte. Using the UNIIQ investment to proof its concept Amylon will be able to make a step towards clinical development”.

Amylon Therapeutics was founded by the ambitious entrepreneur Thomas de Vlaam who is supported by experienced and successful biotechnology entrepreneurs such as founder and former CEO of Crucell, Dinko Valerio. In addition, as ProQR Therapeutics spin-off, Amylon Therapeutics has the profound expertise and experience of its shareholders at its disposal.

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BioGeneration Ventures Fund III reaches EUR 82 million in final close

New investors include biopharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb, healthcare company Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. (JJDC) as well as private equity investor Schroder Adveq, and the MAN Pension Trust.

BGV III is now one of the largest funds focused on seed investments in European biotechnology companies.

The new fund will build on the track record of the first two BGV funds which have yielded major successes. These include Dezima Pharma sold to Amgen for USD 1.5 billion and Acerta Pharma which at USD 7 billion was the largest private exit in Europe in the biotech sector to date. BGV was founding investor in both companies, which are typical examples of the biotech sector’s ability to generate so-called “unicorns” delivering outsized returns for investors.

The firm’s third fund will focus on therapeutics, medical devices and diagnostics, within Europe, in particular in the Benelux and Germany. Five investments have already been made from the fund into German immuno-oncology company Catalym, and Dutch companies Escalier Biosciences, Scenic Biotech, VarmX, and Mellon Medical working on autoimmune diseases, target discovery, haematology, and vascular suturing respectively.

Edward van Wezel, BGV’s Managing Partner said: “Over the last years, BGV has proven that investing in early stage companies is critical in developing innovative science to meet patients’ needs; it can be financially very attractive as well. We believe that support and close collaboration from Bristol-Myers Squibb and JJDC illustrate the increasing interest in early stage innovation. This also demonstrates the unique position that BGV has reached in this arena.”

Paul Biondi, Senior Vice President, Head of Business Development Bristol-Myers Squibb commented: “Bristol-Myers Squibb recognises the potential of early stage innovations emerging from leading scientific groups in the European biotech scene. We are committed to working with VC investors such as BGV who can identify the investment opportunities with the most potential to deliver transformational medicines.”

BGV operates as a joint venture with Forbion Capital Partners, providing access to the later stage perspective on early innovation and a global network of experts and pharma companies. The BGV team has broad experience in investment, life sciences, business development, and commercial operations. The team includes experienced biotech entrepreneurs as venture partners and advisors.

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Testing for developmental toxicity is a crucial part of the early safety testing of novel medicines, chemicals and personal care products. ReproTracker visualises the key events during stem cell differentiations and early embryonic development, thereby allowing reliable assessment of the potential developmental toxicity hazards of new compounds. The assay is built on the technical and scientific background on stem cell differentiation and advanced genome editing and reporter technologies that have been developed by Toxys were previously applied in our ToxTracker assay.

“At Toxys we strongly believe in bringing high quality information to our partners and clients. I strongly believe that the future for human safety assessment is not with simple tests that only provide a yes or no answers, but advanced in vitro models that provide reliable and relevant insight into the mechanism of action of novel chemicals and materials. We are committed to support our partners in understanding their latest compounds and in making the right decisions during R&D of novel products. ReproTracker is the logic next development step in broadening our product portfolio, we combine our expertise that we have developed for ToxTracker to develop an in vitro assay that provides insight into the mode of action in early embryonic development.” – G. Hendriks (CEO Toxys)

Reproductive Toxicology

Previous incidents in the early ‘50s with Softenon, that induced severe malformation in children, emphasised the need to assess whether new products affect reproduction or embryonic development. Today, the regulatory agencies have implemented testing strategies to determine safety of compounds, including developmental toxicity. Currently, development and reproductive toxicity testing (DART) heavily relies on animal testing. The financial and ethical objections as well as the limited predictivity of the animal models for human health risks demands for better DART testing strategies. Toxys aims to apply it’s expertise and technology to develop better animal-free test systems to assess the developmental toxicity properties of novel medicines and chemicals. The financing by RVO allows Toxys to accelerate the development of the ReproTracker assay.


Terug naar overzicht ontvang 300.000 van UNIIQ om trillingen uit producten te verbannen-980x450

When designing vehicles and other products, such as wind turbines and precision equipment, the need to reduce vibrations and noise are important considerations. The less a car vibrates and the quieter it runs, the greater the driving comfort and the longer the product life cycle. For this reason, engineers throughout the entire vehicle production chain continually work on eliminating vibrations and noise.

First-time-right engineering

To detect unwanted vibrations and noise in the current outdated methods, it is often necessary to build several product prototypes and perform a multitude of tests until the desired noise level is reached. In the automotive industry, vibration analysis is typically only possible in the final stage of product development. This leads to unnecessary and costly design cycles because engineers must return to the drawing board several times to avoid unwanted vibrations in a new prototype.

VIBES’s technology has the potential to secure an important position in design processes where vibrations and noise play a role software makes it possible to identify noise and vibrations early in the design process and, where necessary, prevent them before physical prototypes are built. The technology, which uses dynamic substructuring, separates a product into components. The effect of each specific component on the vibration and noise level of the entire car or wind turbine can therefore be mapped individually. This allows engineers to identify potential problems very precisely at an early stage and then adjust these at component level. With, expensive scale models no longer need to be built to accurately predict vibrations. software saves the manufacturer a lot of time and money.

Maarten van der Kooij, co-founder of, says, “Thanks to UNIIQ’s investment, we can further develop the technology and current product in partnership with our customers to create a software solution that helps them improve measurements and analyses. We expect the solution we are working on to provide a solid basis for a product that will enable industry-wide efficiency gains in design processes aimed at noise and vibration reduction. In addition to this capital injection from UNIIQ, Rabobank Zuid-Holland Midden will also support us with a contribution from their innovation fund.”

UNIIQ Fund Manager Liduina Hammer adds, “VIBES’s technology has the potential to secure an important position in design processes where vibrations and noise play a role. Given the knowledge of the team and the opportunities this technology presents, we are pleased to help these entrepreneurs develop and demonstrate their proof-of-concept.”

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StartupFest Europe / CapitalFest 2017

StartupFest Europe

Startups are good for the economy. They take care of innovation and employment. In order to grow, startups include capital, knowledge and customers. That’s why Dutch StartupDelta started in 2016 with StartupFest Europe, a European festival where startups and scale-ups find funding to grow their business, meet launching customers and find inspiration from international topnotch speakers.

StartupFest Europe consists of a main event (CapitalFest) and a number of thematic events spread around The Netherlands. This years theme is ‘Global Challenges, Startup Solutions’. At different times during StartupFest Europe there are speakers and challenges about one of the global challenges.

StartupFest Europe connects startups from all regions and sectors, enabling the Dutch startup potential to be visible to national and international investors ~ Francis Quint, Head of InnovationQuarter Capital

Edible drones

During CapitalFest on September 27th in the Beurs of Berlage, Amsterdam, there will a large series of international top speakers on stage (as keynote speaker or participant in a breakout session). In addition, there is a special video message from Jack Ma, CEO of Alibaba.

Some of the speakers are startup or scale-up with a strong focus on one of the world’s challenges. Like Boyan Slat. He is the founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup, the company that develops technological solutions for floating plastic in the oceans. Slat started his business in 2013 when he was 18 years old. The Ocean Cleanup has collected $ 31.5 million in funding.

With its company Windhorse Aerospace Nigel Gifford develops edible drones that can be deployed in disaster areas. The drones can transport a few tens of kilos of aid goods in the future.

The Ocean Cleanup

Innovative translator

Tim Houter and his colleagues develop the solution for fast and safe transportation. Houters team recently became second in the SpaceX Hyperloop competition of Elon Musk. The first tests of the Delft Hyperloop are promising.

Vasco Pedro is the founder and CEO of Unbabel, a Portuguese startup that develops the best translator using both artificial intelligence and “real” people. The goal of Unbabel is to make people worldwide work together better and easier.

Eyewire is the company of Amy Robinson Sterling. Eyewire portrays the human brain through the use of an online game. By solving 3D puzzles, everyone can collaborate on visualizing the human neural network.

100 billion dollars

In addition to these five innovative startups, CapitalFest’s stage includes Deep Nishar, the world’s largest investor. Nishar (former vice president at LinkedIn) is managing director of The Softbank’s Vision Fund; The Vision Fund has invested $ 100 billion. CapitalFest gives two startups the opportunity to pitch their company at Nishar. Besides, all startups visiting CapitalFest get the opportunity to present their business to hundreds of other investors.

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Belgische en Duitse stamcelspecialisten gaan samen-980x450px

Joining forces

Ncardia has secured an additional €4.25M from existing investors, Vesalius Biocapital, SFPI-FPIM and Sambrinvest as a direct result of the merger. Both scientific specialists & business units based in Leiden, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and the US are focused on meeting the needs of customers in pharma and biotech sectors and have developed a pipeline of innovative products, services and solutions to position Ncardia as the trusted global leader in hiPSC based cardiac drug discovery & development. Dr. Stefan Braam, Pluriomics co-founder has been appointed CEO while Dr. Heribert Bohlen, Axiogenesis co-founder has been named CSO. Dr. Bernd Fronhoff will become COO.

The combined specialist units will allow our customers to accelerate and improve drug candidate selection, lower costs, and ultimately increase drug development efficiency.

“Establishing Ncardia was a strategic decision” said Stefan Braam CEO. “We are bringing the best of both organisations together – our people, products, services, industry knowledge and expertise to develop and generate more innovative stem cell based products and services to serve our customers at an even higher level than before. Our goal is to be the trusted global leader in the hiPSC drug discovery and development field so that Ncardia is the partner of choice for scientists operating in cardiovascular and neural safety and efficacy projects.”

By joining forces, Ncardia can provide assay solutions in a shorter time-frame which will help to accelerate and improve the discovery & development of efficient and safe drugs. The combined business allows Ncardia to build on over two decades of knowledge, stem cell product R&D and commercialization by Pluriomics and Axiogenesis respectively. It gives Ncardia further opportunities for growth in a rapidly developing marketplace.

Heribert Bohlen CSO added, “Combining the scientific excellence and expertise of Pluriomics and Axiogenesis boosts our R&D capabilities. It allows us to accelerate innovations within the cardiac drug discovery & development areas. He went on to say that “the combined specialist units will allow our customers to accelerate and improve drug candidate selection, lower costs, and ultimately increase drug development efficiency.“

Ncardia has more than 60 employees in Europe and the US. The combined teams will continue to engage with clients to develop and provide customers with a broad portfolio of cardiovascular cell models and services. These services range from disease modelling to cardiovascular drug efficacy screening to cardiac safety assessment and implementing Ncardia’s innovative and proprietary cell types in various screening platforms.

InnovationQuarter invested in Pluriomics, which is a spin-off from Leiden University in 2014

This article appeared first on Business Wire



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Hercules Pharmaceuticals ontvangt investering van UNIIQ voor ontwikkeling immuuntherapie tegen kanker

Inhibition of tumor growth

Many cancer patients experience a suppressed immune system. This causes the body to incorrectly detect tumor cells as healthy tissue, resulting in the inability of the body’s natural defence system to attack and destroy these cells. Hercules Pharmaceuticals currently develops a therapeutic that activates the immune system, thereby limiting the growth and metastasis of the cancer cells. This therapy revolves around the inhibition of the Aryl Hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) in different forms of cancer in which AhR has a high expression level.

Over the last few years, a number of different therapies, focusing specifically on improving the patient’s immune system, have been introduced into the market. These so-called ‘checkpoint inhibitors’ have had a strong positive effect on patients suffering from a number of difficult-to-treat cancers, such as skin and lung cancer. Using the UNIIQ investment, Hercules Pharmaceuticals will further develop its lead compound and use this compound in a number of mouse models, thereby also exploring the possibilities to use the compound in combination with current therapies. Expectations are that Hercules’ drug can be used as both a standalone therapy and a combination therapy.

This investment from UNIIQ enables us to further prove efficacy and safety of our drug

Further Development

Hercules Pharmaceuticals was founded by Boston University and DDF Ventures and uses the IP and knowhow from inventor and CSO David Sherr. The company is headed by CEO Bart Wuurman, former CEO of, amongst others,  Lanthio Pharma and AM-Pharma. Wuurman: “This investment from UNIIQ enables us to further prove efficacy and safety of our drug. Initially this will be done by using different mouse models, but we have set a clear goal to use this therapeutic in a clinical setting as soon as possible”.

Liduina Hammer: “Immunotherapy has seen a very strong growth and a number of breakthrough developments over the last couple of years, strongly improving the outlook for a large number of patients. Hercules Pharmaceuticals has shown promising results so far in this field and with this this investment UNIIQ will contribute to an important step towards obtaining proof-of-concept with the technology and further growth and development of the company.”

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IRM Systems ontvangt kapitaal voor ontwikkeling van IRM Smart Pipeline Data en versnellen van internationale groei

Deputy Mayor Ferrie Förster from the City of Delft congratulates Rutger Schouten, founder and CEO of IRM Systems B.V.

Together with Rabobank and Brooklyn Ventures, InnovationQuarter with her IQCapital fund has completed this round to launch IRM Systems’ newest innovative product, ‘IRM Smart Pipeline Data’. ‘IRM Smart Pipeline Data’ is a software solution to support clients in predicting integrity and future failure optimally and extend the lifetime of their challenging pipeline systems whilst reducing total cost. Also, this round will support international expansion to IRM Systems’ strategic markets.

International growth & smart software

IRM Systems B.V. is actively looking to expand into to strategic markets beyond the Netherlands (Delft) and United Kingdom (Aberdeen) to amongst others USA (Houston), following their clients abroad. Secondly securing the integrity of pipeline systems’ in today’s climate of staff reductions at operators and ageing infrastructure, requires digitization and predictive data around integrity management – in particular for more challenging, or non-standard, pipeline systems. IRM Systems B.V. currently develops its smart software tool to accurately and optimally manage integrity and predict future failure on pipeline systems to further support its client base. Assisting clients to move to actually using data sets currently available on challenging pipeline systems allows these clients to increase integrity while reducing their overall cost.

IRM Systems ontvangt kapitaal voor ontwikkeling van IRM Smart Pipeline Data en versnellen van internationale groei

From left to right: Peter van der Poel (Smit en de Wolf), Karin Maliepaard (IRM Systems), Thijs Schaap (InnovationQuarter), Nienke Vledder (InnovationQuarter), Rutger Schouten (IRM Systems), Ferrie Förster (gemeente Delft), Ard Jol (Brooklyn Ventures), Francis Quint (InnovationQuarter), Hans Osnabrugge (Brooklyn Ventures), Thomas van Dusseldorp (IRM Systems)

An strategic next step

“IRM Systems is ready for a next major step. Combining regional growth initiatives in selected markets to IRM Smart Pipeline Data means that we leverage the specialist knowledge of our teams to serve more and more clients globally. That way we can reach true scale in the highly focused market segment of so-called ‘non-standard’ pipeline systems”, says Rutger Schouten, founder and CEO of IRM Systems B.V.

Hans Osnabrugge, partner of Brooklyn Ventures: “We are proud to see that the greenfield we started five years ago has grown into a global leader in its exciting niche. With this injection, the existing strong financial basis of IRM Group is leveraged to use our built knowledge and right to play towards a software solution, solving a global problem for non-standard pipelines. As Brooklyn Ventures it confirms our capabilities to globally scale startups and scale ups by our hands-on involvement.”

Unique combination of organic, international growth and innovative potential

Francis Quint, head of InnovationQuarter Capital: “With our investment in IRM Systems B.V. we aim to support successful entrepreneurs such as Rutger Schouten who built a flourishing high-added value business in Zuid-Holland (Delft) to enable their growth-ambitions. IRM Systems is a company with highly skilled employees in combination with innovative potential, through the development of IRM Smart Pipeline Data. InnovationQuarter is excited to support IRM Systems B.V. in its growth-ambitions”

Deputy Mayor Ferrie Förster from the City of Delft announced InnovationQuarter’s new investment at the Knowledge Expo Delft hosted at Buccaneer, center for innovation in energy and offshore in Delft.

EFRO / European regional development fund of the European Union

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Oxy-Low ontvangt groeifincanciering

From left to right: Jaap Smit (King’s Commissioner in the province of Zuid-Holland), Sanne van Rennes (Oxy-Low) en Pieter van Rennes (Oxy-Low)

Jaap Smit, King’s Commissioner in the province of Zuid-Holland, and Adri Bom-Lemstra, Regional Minister (Economic Affairs), announced the investments at the international ERIAFF food and agriculture conference, which kicked off in The Hague on Thursday, 29 June. The government officials symbolically handed over the InnovationQuarter investments to the directors of the three companies. These regional resources, in combination with European funds, are aimed at boosting companies that contribute to innovation within the international agricultural and horticultural sector.

Regional Minister Adri Bom-Lemstra said,

Innovation and technological advances are crucial for the further development of the Greenport and will allow us to retain and reinforce our leading global position. With their innovative technology, Condi Food and Longbloom are well-positioned to help us achieve this.

Both companies will receive capital through UNIIQ, a fund that helps companies in the proof-of-concept phase to bring their innovation to market faster.

King’s Commissioner in the province of Zuid-Holland Jaap Smit announced the IQCapital investment in family-run business Oxy-Low and said: “I am proud that once again several companies in West Holland can take a huge step forward thanks to an investment made possible by InnovationQuarter. Companies like Oxy-Low demonstrate the region’s strength for innovation in the agricultural and horticultural sector.”

Condi Food, Warmond

Condi Food uses hyperspectral technology from the aerospace industry to assess the different characteristics of food products, including food quality. For example, the technology can be used to test the ripeness and taste of fruit and can also evaluate the freshness of products, such as salmon or sea bass. Condi Food is able to determine desired quality characteristics in a continuous, non-destructive manner with automated inline processes. In this way, the company contributes to improved food quality and safety.


From left to right: Regional Minister Adri Bom-Lemstra (Economic Affairs), Jacques van Munster van Heuven (Condi Food), Robi Nederlof (Condi Food)

Longbloom, Bleiswijk

Longbloom has developed a revolutionary process for preserving flowers. By using CO2 ‘waste’ released from the port of Rotterdam, the company can apply a special treatment that allows the quality of fresh flowers to be preserved for several months to several years. This innovative technology preserves flowers in a much more efficient and environmentally friendly way than the current production standard. The global market demand for preserved flowers is growing considerably. Whereas the current focus within the industry is on flowers with a strong structure, Longbloom can respond effectively to the rising demand because its process allows for the preservation of new and more delicate varieties of flowers. The region’s infrastructure, combined with the quality and diversity of flowers grown in West Holland, make it the ideal location for Longbloom to test and develop this technology.


From left to right: Regional Minister Adri Bom-Lemstra (Economic Affairs), Adriaan Meewisse (Longbloom)

Oxy-Low, Numansdorp

Oxy-Low serves the global market with biological insect control methods that are not harmful to people and the environment. Moreover, these methods contribute to preserving the quality of the product. International customers use Oxy-Low’s solutions to treat, package, transport and store various food and non-food commodities. Thanks to these solutions, loss of food products due to deterioration can be reduced and product quality is preserved for longer periods. With its environmentally friendly solution, Oxy-Low offers an alternative to toxic fumigation and helps its customers meet the social challenges of sustainable chains and food safety.

Francis Quint, Head of InnovationQuarter Capital, is very pleased with these three investments:

InnovationQuarter invests in innovative companies in West Holland at all stages of a company’s life cycle. With the investments in Condi Food and Longbloom from our proof-of-concept fund, UNIIQ, and the investment in Oxy-Low from IQCapital, West Holland is providing a broad-based boost to the international agricultural and horticultural sector.

EFRO / European regional development fund of the European Union