Phlox Therapeutics Raises Additional Seed Funding to Further Develop RNA Therapies for Genetic Laminopathies

A very warm welcome to new portfolio company Phlox Therapeutics, a private biotechnology company specializing in developing innovative RNA-therapeutics for rare genetic cardiomyopathies.

Below the press relaese;

• Phlox Therapeutics raises additional seed funding to develop RNA therapies for genetic laminopathies
• Funds will advance the company’s lead program into preclinical development

08 May 2023, Naarden, The Netherlands –

Phlox Therapeutics (“Phlox”), a private biotechnology company specializing in developing innovative RNA-therapeutics for rare genetic cardiomyopathies, has secured additional seed funding to advance Phlox’s lead program aimed at rare genetic laminopathies. In this funding round Innovation Fund Noord Holland (INH), AMC Ventures Holding, and Utrecht Health Seed Fund (UHSF) have joined forces with existing investor FIRST, managed by BioGeneration Ventures (BGV), to support Phlox’s efforts. Phlox will use the funds raised in the seed financing round to advance the company’s lead program into preclinical development. This round will also enable Phlox to continue to build its team and expand its platform technology.

The company’s platform technology enables simultaneous targeting of multiple lamin mutations. The versatile nature of these RNA-designs eliminates the need for generating mutation-specific compounds to treat each distinct mutation, rendering these compounds suitable for most lamin mutations. Phlox is committed to utilizing this proprietary platform technology to develop RNA-therapies that can effectively treat genetic diseases resulting from mutations in a single gene. This includes addressing laminopathies, a specific and frequently severe form of heart failure caused by structural protein defects in the cardiac cell nucleus due to mutations in the lamin gene.

Commenting on the seed financing round, Phlox’ CMO and cardiologist Yigal Pinto said, “We are thrilled to have the support of this group of investors as we work towards developing life-changing RNA-therapies for many of my patients who struggle with a cardiomyopathy for which there are no disease modifying therapies. This funding will enable us to accelerate our efforts to bring these therapies to the clinic and help improve the lives of our patients that are suffering from this destructive disease.”

Wouter Keij, Fund Manager of Innovation Fund Noord-Holland commented on behalf of all four investors “We are excited to work with the Phlox team and to support such an impactful innovation to pave a way for more RNA-based therapies to come. We are proud to be backing Phlox in their effort to bring these potentially life-changing therapies to those in need for treatments for cardiac diseases.”

Margien Boels
Director of Operations
M: +316 4842 5428

About Phlox Therapeutics
Phlox Therapeutics is a biotechnology company that develops first-in-class RNA therapies for cardiomyopathies. Phlox’s lead program focuses on laminopathies, a rare inherited cardiomyopathy that can cause a plethora of symptoms affecting the heart as well as skeletal muscles. Next to its program in laminopathies, Phlox Therapeutics is aiming to leverage similar RNA-based strategies to target other cardiomyopathies. As such, Phlox Therapeutics strives to develop multiple gene therapies that are able to reduce the negative effects caused by genetic mutations. Learn more at

About Innovation Fund Noord Holland
Innovatiefonds Noord-Holland (“INH”) is an initiative of the Province of North Holland, the University of Amsterdam, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam UMC and Sanquin, with support from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency & the European Union through the European Regional Development FundINH supports entrepreneurs within various sectors in the Province of North Holland by financing innovations in the Proof-of-Concept phase through providing convertible loans.
For more information, please visit:

About AMC Ventures Holding
AMC Ventures Holding is an early-stage investor in academic spin-off companies from the Academic Medical Center (AMC). AMC Ventures Holding works closely with academics and entrepreneurs at the earliest stage of company formation to support the commercialization of knowledge. For more information please visit:

About Utrecht Health Seed Fund
Utrecht Health Seed Fund (UHSF) is an early-stage life sciences & health investment fund based out of Utrecht, The Netherlands, focused on scalable technologies in the field of Life Sciences (therapeutics and diagnostics), Medical Devices, Digital Health, and Animal Health, in the earliest stages of development. UHSF is established by Utrecht Holdings with the assistance and support of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), UMC Utrecht, and the University of Utrecht. For more information, please visit

About Fonds InvesteringsRijpe Starters FIRST
Fonds InvesteringsRijpe STarters (FIRST) is a pre-seed fund that finances pioneering scientists in The Netherlands active in the emerging fields of regenerative medicine and cardiovascular diseases. FIRST is founded by the Dutch CardioVascular Alliance (DCVA) and Regenerative Medicine Crossing Borders (RegMed XB) with support of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. Naarden based BioGeneration Ventures (BGV) supports the FIRST fund as a registered fund manager, making available its network, expertise, and facilities. For more information, please visit:

Valentina Vignali appointed as Investment Associate

Utrecht Holdings welcomes Valentina Vignali to the team. Valentina is about to obtain a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Groningen and brings experience from working in academia and venture capital. At her previous roles she conducted fund and direct investments due diligence. Valentina will support the business development and investment team of UHSF evaluating and executing investment opportunities.

Valentina will mainly work for the UHSF Fund, sponsored by Utrecht Holdings. We wish Valantina every success in her new postion!

To get in contact with Valentina, go to:

Vacature Investment Analyst

Bringing new innovations to the market; that is the challenge that we, together with researchers from Utrecht University and UMC Utrecht, face every day at Utrecht Holdings. The goal of our team of 15 expert and enthusiastic employees, is to maximize the impact of academic research on people, society and the (local) economy.

Would you like to work in a dynamic environment, where you have to apply your knowledge, experience and interpersonal skills to achieve these goals? Then we are looking for you!

Company Overview

Utrecht Holdings is the knowledge transfer office and investment company of Utrecht University and UMC Utrecht. Both organizations have the following key tasks: education, research, patient care and knowledge valorization. Utrecht Holdings supports this last task by commercializing academic research results and bringing them closer to everyday society.

We support scientists with patenting their inventions and licensing to commercial parties. Our focus is on Life Sciences, Digital Innovations and Sustainability. We regularly spinoff companies originating from both knowledge institutions. Finally, we invest in promising startups with the goal to support them through early stage development. One of our funds is the Utrecht Health Seed Fund, a € 5.4 M fund, dedicated to investing in early stage startups, innovating in the field of Life Sciences & Health.

For more information, please visit: and

Job Summary

We are seeking a highly motivated and analytical Investment Analyst to join our team. The Analyst will play a critical role in supporting our business development & investment team in evaluating and executing investment opportunities. The successful candidate for this role will have an understanding of (especially) the Life Sciences & Health industry, strong analytical skills and a self-starting attitude. They will be able to analyze market and company information, as well as our investment and business processes and identify potential areas of improvement. They will also be able to work independently while collaborating effectively with our finance-, IP- and legal officers.


  • Conduct in-depth research on market trends, technologies and competitive landscape in the Life Sciences & Health Industry;
  • Identify and evaluate potential investment opportunities, including performing due diligence on potential portfolio companies;
  • Build financial models and perform valuation analysis to support investment decisions;
  • Prepare investment memos and other materials for internal and external stakeholders;
  • Monitor and analyze portfolio company performance and market developments;
  • Work with portfolio companies to provide strategic and operational support, leveraging our network and resources to help them achieve their goals; and
  • Provide management with relevant and concise information and analyses.


  • Master’s degree or equivalent in a relevant field such as Life Sciences or other exact science;
  • 1-3 years of experience in the pharma/biotech industry, investment banking, consulting, or a related field;
  • Strong understanding of the key players, market trends and regulatory landscape in the Life Sciences & Health industry;
  • Excellent analytical, quantitative, and problem-solving skills;
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to effectively communicate complex ideas to diverse audiences;
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively in a fast-paced environment;
  • Self-starting attitude, team spirit.

We Offer:

  • A professional learning- and work environment, a great and diverse team of colleagues and an excellent salary and benefits conform the collective labor agreement of the UMCU; and
  • An inspiring role that generates impact and the chance to shape the world of tomorrow, collaborating with top-level scientists and entrepreneurs.

Additional information and hiring process

For more information about this role, feel free to contact Timo Koopmans (investmentmanager) or Gertine van der Vliet, director Utrecht Holdings, via email:; or by phone: 085 0876369.

We would like to receive your CV and motivation letter by 12 May, via email, to: Selection interviews are scheduled for 16 and 17 May.

Please do not contact us with unsolicited services or offers.

Moveshelf raises €1.7M to accelerate growth and international sales of its Information System for Movement Disorders

Utrecht, The Netherlands

Moveshelf is a private digital health company which supplies a novel information system for movement and musculoskeletal disorders. With Moveshelf’s certified Software-as-a-Service, healthcare organizations unlock use of mobility measurements in clinical settings, store data from cameras and wearables in one secure place and allow their medical teams to easily visualize results and take better decisions together. Moveshelf has now raised €1.7M to accelerate growth, strengthen the team, expedite product development, and realize international expansion. The round was led by Nextgen Ventures and joined by existing investors Utrecht Health Seed Fund and Locapes Investment Fund.

Moveshelf, founded by Ignazio Aleo and Per Slycke, supports digitization of care for movement and musculoskeletal disorders (MD/MSK). More than 1% of US GDP is spent on care for MD/MSK, and especially severe disorders such as Osteoarthritis, Stroke, Cerebral Palsy, and Parkinson’s disease have a high societal, human, and economic impact. Due to recent technological advances, human movement is now measured everywhere with wearables and smart cameras. With this abundance of data available, now is the time to unlock advanced movement analysis for care providers, specialists, and patients, to improve MD/MSK care across the care cycle.

Launching customers of Moveshelf include leading EU and US care providers specialized in MD/MSK, such as the Sint Maartenskliniek, University Medical Center Groningen, Roessingh Rehabilitation Center, and Maastricht University Medical Center. Teams at launching customers use Moveshelf every day to centralize measurements from patients wherever they are, create concise reports as a basis for diagnosis, therapy selection & monitoring, and access these reports wherever they work. All this in one secure and compliant information system, certified according to ISO27001 and NEN7510. With these achievements in place, Moveshelf is uniquely positioned to be a leader in the market for MD/MSK care.

Ignazio Aleo, PhD, CEO of Moveshelf, said: “We are thrilled to have the support of this outstanding consortium of experienced digital healthcare investors. This funding will enable us to support many more organizations and patients with our unique information system for movement disorders. We are excited to enter a new chapter and we feel privileged and proud to be working on a service which can make a significant positive contribution on patients’ lives.”

Peter Haasjes, Investment Director at NextGen Ventures, commented: “We believe that acquiring digital biomarkers from patients and analyzing them will improve the quality of diagnoses and ultimately treatments and patient outcomes. Movement and musculoskeletal disorders play such a big part in patients’ lives and Moveshelf is uniquely positioned to assist physicians and laboratory technicians with their day-to-day activities and catalyze innovation.”

Background statements

 About Nextgen Ventures

Nextgen Ventures is an investment fund investing in knowledge-intensive companies that enable transformation in health care. We actively work with our portfolio companies to develop and market potential breakthrough innovations in health care IT and medical technology that provide meaningful results for people, patients, and professionals. For more information, please visit

 About Utrecht Health Seed Fund

Utrecht Health Seed Fund (UHSF) is an early-stage life sciences & health investment fund based out of Utrecht, The Netherlands, focused on scalable technologies in the field of Life Sciences (therapeutics and diagnostics), Medical Devices, Digital Health, and Animal Health in the earliest stages of development. UHSF is established by Utrecht Holdings supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), UMC Utrecht, and the University of Utrecht. For more information, please visit

About Locapes Investment Fund

Locapes Investment Fund (Locapes) invests in early-stage B2B technology companies that aspire to improve how people live, work, and stay healthy by leveraging differentiated and unique technology. Locapes mainly focuses on 3D tracking-enabled technology companies, active in fields such as XR, robotics, and digital health tech.



Johannes Gijsbers, VP of Product




Cresco Spine closes seed investments to develop innovative dynamic surgical therapy for scoliosis

June 24, 2022 – Utrecht, the Netherlands

Cresco Spine, a new player in the spinal arena and a spin-off of the University Medical Center Utrecht (the Netherlands), today announced that it raised seed investments from InSpine and Utrecht Health Seed Fund (UHSF) to continue its development of their unique surgical spinal correction platform “Dynamic Implant SolutionsTM” (DISTM), initially focused on early onset scoliosis.


Early onset scoliosis is a severe and life-threatening condition in a vulnerable, young patient group. These patients are severely affected by this condition that may lead to deficient cardio-pulmonary development. Treatment is associated with high complication rates and usually requires multiple surgeries throughout the early years of life. Moreover, multiple hospital visits for monitoring are required, which further increases the disease burden and healthcare costs.


Within its “Dynamic Implant SolutionsTM“ platform, Cresco Spine is finalizing the Spring Distraction System (SDSTM) for market introduction. The SDSTM is a unique, spring based dynamic distraction system that works with standard of care posterior pedicle screw fixation. The system has the potential to guide the growth three-dimensionally without the need for invasive lengthening interventions. This will improve outcomes, whilst minimizing re-operations and surgical and anesthetic burden in this vulnerable patient group. Several follow-on opportunities for Cresco Spine’s technology have been identified and will be next in line within the DISTM platform.


Prof. Dr. René Castelein, orthopedic surgeon and Cresco Spine’s Chief Medical Officer said: “This novel ‘growth friendly’ solution has already proven its potential in several prospective clinical studies, the system even outperforms existing therapies, with respect to outcomes and disease burden for patients. Based on conversations with orthopedic surgeons worldwide, the strong need for better treatment options is clear, and I look forward to working with clinicians globally to raise the bar in this very challenging field.”


Michiel Schwartz, CEO of InSpine comments: “We always strive to provide improvement for spinal patients, which is reflected our portfolio and even more in our former and latest product developments. We see a tremendous need in this particular area of spinal care combined with a strong potential for innovation. This investment will enable us to realize next steps in development and work towards regulatory approval.”


Jaap de Bruin, Fund Manager of UHSF commented: “We are very pleased to support Cresco Spine, and strongly believe in its mission and potential. Cresco Spine’s approach to scoliosis therapy is to improve quality of life and outcomes, whilst reducing overall healthcare system burden and costs, i.e., an excellent fit with our investment objectives.”



 Background statements


About Cresco Spine

Cresco Spine is a medical technology company developing surgical spinal therapies focusing on improving scoliosis care. Cresco Spine was founded in 2021 as a spin-out from the University Medical Center in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

For more information, please visit


About InSpine

InSpine is a Dutch medical company that is strongly committed to improve (complex) spinal surgery. Therefore, InSpine has its focus on distributing the right products and technologies with associated services and supporting groundbreaking spinal innovations.

For more information, please visit


About Utrecht Health Seed Fund

Utrecht Health Seed Fund (UHSF) is an early-stage life sciences & health investment fund based out of Utrecht, The Netherlands, focused on scalable technologies in the field of Life Sciences (therapeutics and diagnostics), Medical Devices, Digital Health, and Animal Health in the earliest stages of development.

UHSF is established by Utrecht Holdings with the assistance and support of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), UMC Utrecht, and the University of Utrecht.

For more information, please visit


 Contact information

Dennis Magermans, CEO Cresco Spine,



TargED Biopharmaceuticals raises EUR 39 Million in Series A financing to bring groundbreaking thrombolytic treatment to patients

Our portfolio company Targed Biopharmaceuticals raised Series A financing of € 39 million to develop improved treatments for thrombotic diseases.
The financing was co-led by Andera Partners, Fund+, Hadean Ventures, Inkef Capital and Sunstone Life Science Ventures, and joined by existing investors First, Curie Capital and UHSF.
Please find the press release below.
  • Financing with equal contribution by an international investor syndicate comprising of Andera Partners, Fund+, Hadean Ventures, Inkef Capital and Sunstone Life Science Ventures
  • Funds will accelerate development of first-in-class targeted thrombolytic treatment into clinical development


Utrecht, the Netherlands, 22 February 2022 – TargED Biopharmaceuticals (“TargED”), a private biotechnology company focused on developing improved treatments for thrombotic diseases, today announces it has raised Series A financing of EUR 39 million to accelerate development of its lead compound, Microlyse. The financing was led with equal contribution by an international syndicate comprising Andera Partners, Fund+, Hadean Ventures, Inkef Capital and Sunstone Life Science Ventures, and joined by existing investors FIRST (Managed by BioGeneration Ventures), Curie Capital and Utrecht Health Seed Fund.  TargED will focus development on two initial indications: acquired Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (aTTP) and Acute Ischemic Stroke (AIS).


TargED’s lead product, Microlyse, is a first-in-class proprietary clot-busting compound which binds to a protein present in all forms of thrombosis.  Microlyse is the first compound to achieve targeted enzyme delivery, using a single domain antibody (VhH), directly to blood clots. Due to the targeted nature of the therapy, it is expected to lead to a superior side effect profile alongside the potential for exceptional potency compared to current agents. Microlyse’s unique mechanism of action allows for potential applications in a variety of indications involving thrombosis, including the life-threatening disease aTTP. The ground-breaking work demonstrating that Microlyse specifically targets blood clots leading to their desolution faster and safer compared to standard of care recently featured on the cover of the journal Blood (Microlyse: a thrombolytic agent that targets VWF for clearance of microvascular thrombosis).

Kristof Vercruysse, Chief Executive Officer of TargED, said: “We are delighted to have the support of this international syndicate of world class life science investors, a validation of the potential of Microlyse. We are proud to be developing products that have the potential to positively impact millions of lives by enabling patient access to such lifesaving treatment.”

Following the closing of the financing the Board of TargED will include: Thijs Cohen Tervaert, Inkef Capital (Chair), Olivier Litzka, Andera Partners, Mariette van der Velden-Roesink, Curie Capital, Jan Van den Bossche, Fund+, Roger Franklin, Hadean Ventures and Jacob Lange Moresco, Sunstone Life Science Ventures.

Thijs Cohen Tervaert, Chair of the Board of Directors, commented: “Together with Jacob, Roger, Jan and Olivier, we are very pleased to invest in this impressive TargED team.   Microlyse is a therapeutic innovation that has a very strong potential to significantly lower the burden of disease related to thrombotic events. We are excited to join forces with TargED to accelerate the development of Microlyse into clinical development, both in aTTP and AIS.”

We are happy that our pioneering efforts on the design of an enzyme that targets blood clots led to compelling preclinical data recently published in the journal Blood” said UMC Utrecht Associate Professor Coen Maas and scientific co-founder of TargED. “It is exciting to see that this work has been able to attract such a strong syndicate of investors, which will now allow us to develop Microlyse towards therapeutic breakthrough, potentially across a range of indications with high unmet medical need”.

Mariette van der Velden, Managing Partner of Curie Capital, commented on behalf of seed investors FIRST and Utrecht Health Seed Fund: “Microlyse has the potential to better address the needs of patients suffering from thrombotic diseases. With a tremendous drive, the TargED team has produced very promising preclinical results supported by our seed funding. We are excited to enter the next phase of the development of  Microlyse towards patients worldwide.”


For more information please contact:


Kristof Vercruysse

Chief Executive Officer



Optimum Strategic Communications

Mary Clark, Stella Lempidaki, Vici Rabbetts
T: + 44 208 078 4357



About TargED

TargED Biopharmaceuticals B.V. is a biotechnology company that develops first-in-class biological drugs to improve treatment of thrombosis. TargED stands for Targeted Enzyme Delivery. Their biological drugs are unique by using small antibodies (“VhH”) to deliver enzymes to sites of thrombosis, enabling ‘targeted’ thrombolysis. The lead compound is Microlyse, which is currently under development for thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) and Acute Ischemic Stroke (AIS). The objective is to accelerate thrombolysis in all forms of thrombosis, irrespective of the thrombus composition.

TargED, a spin-off of the University Medical Center Utrecht, was founded in July 2020 by Associate Professor at the Department of Clinical Chemistry and Haematology, Coen Maas, PhD, an expert in thrombosis and hemostasis, Steven de Maat, PhD, an expert in recombinant protein development and optimization, Marc van Moorsel, researcher with focus on Acute Ischemic Stroke and Kristof Vercruysse, with more than 20 years of experience in bringing biopharmaceutical compounds from pre-clinical proof of concept to market, most notably, Caplacizumab for Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura at Ablynx between 2007 and 2013.


For more information please visit


About Andera Partners

Created in 2001, Andera Partners is a major player in private company investments in France and internationally. Its teams manage €3.2 billion in investments in life sciences (Andera Life Sciences), growth and buyout capital (Andera MidCap, Andera Expansion and Andera Croissance), sponsorless transactions (Andera Acto) and ecological transition (Andera Infra). Based in Paris, with offices in Antwerp and Munich, Andera Partners is wholly owned by its teams, which comprise more than 80 professionals, of which some 50 are investment professionals. It is structured as a partnership and managed by a board of ten partners. Responsible and committed, the management company regularly forms partnerships with non-profit sector entities and takes concrete action in the fight against global warming. Andera Partners has been certified carbon neutral since 2018.

Andera’s 15-person life sciences team brings together extensive experience in the life sciences industry, private equity and venture capital. Active since 2000, the team has raised €1.3 billion through its BioDiscovery family of funds and is currently investing from its new BioDiscovery 6 fund. Since inception, the BioDiscovery funds have invested in more than 80 European and US biotech and medtech companies, and generated over 20 IPOs and over 20 trade sales. For more information, please visit:


About Fund+

Fund+ is a Belgian venture capital firm that invests in innovative European Life Sciences companies developing drugs, medical devices and diagnostics, with a strong focus on patient-centric approaches and major unmet medical needs. With over €200M in assets under management, Fund+ has built a strong track record since 2015, investing in 16 portfolio companies with two major exits.  The fund is managed by a specialist team of seasoned life sciences professionals with healthcare industry, corporate finance and strategy consulting experience, supporting companies throughout their growth cycle.  The company aims to maintain a leading position in the Life Sciences sector, creating sustainable value for its shareholders and a tangible impact on society.  For more information, please visit:


About Inkef Capital

Inkef Capital is a leading venture capital firm based in Amsterdam with a proven history of backing promising early-stage companies in Europe. Inkef takes pride in being a patient, long-term investor with the ability to support companies through several funding rounds all the way up to IPO. From the early stages of being a technology or life science venture, Inkef supports entrepreneurs building their ideas into successful international businesses. Inkef’s investments include Onward Medical, Castor, iOnctura, Cardior and GitLab, Remote among others. For more information, please visit:


About Hadean Ventures

Hadean Ventures is a European life science venture capital fund manager with c. €200m assets under management across two funds. Hadean Ventures has offices in Oslo, Norway, and Stockholm, Sweden, as well as presence in Germany, Austria and the UK. Hadean invests across all healthcare verticals and stages with a focus on de-risked preclinical and clinical assets that address clear unmet medical needs. Our interest spans across pharmaceuticals & biotech, medical devices, diagnostics and digital health – we have the flexibility to invest in great ideas no matter what vertical. The Hadean team currently consists of 10 investment professionals with deep scientific, medical and business knowledge. We can add value and offer expert guidance throughout a company’s development, whether early or late-stage. Our presence in Europe, and specifically the Nordics and German speaking Europe, enables Hadean to find the best opportunities at the source of innovation in regions that regularly produce world-class science, yet historically have been under-ventured. For more information, please visit:


About Sunstone Life Science Ventures

Sunstone Life Science Ventures is an independent European venture capital investment firm founded in 2007 by an international team of industry experts with combined entrepreneurial, operational and financial experience. Managing total funds of €500 million, Sunstone Life Science Ventures focuses on developing and expanding early‐stage Life Science companies with strong potential to achieve global success in their markets. Since the inception, Sunstone Life Science Ventures has invested in more than 50 companies in the areas of pharmaceuticals, medical technologies and diagnostics, and has completed more than 20 successful IPOs and large M&A transactions. For more information, please visit:

Utrecht Health Seed Fund’s first anniversary!

Before we knew, we’re celebrating Utrecht Health Seed Fund’s first anniversary!

And what a year it has been. We can’t express how proud we are of our exceptional portfolio companies and the talented entrepreneurs and scientists driving these ventures:

– TargED Biopharmaceuticals is developing a next generation clot-busting drug with unique properties, focusing on Acute Ischemic Stroke and Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP);

– Moveshelf is building a unique software platform for clinical movement analysis, targeted at severe movement disorders such as Cerebral Palsy;

– NTrans Technologies is advancing their gene editing platform to target Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy; and

– SentryX is building a next generation, innovative pain relief therapy platform, focusing on orthopedic surgical post-procedural pain.

We are continuously scouting and screening new startups that want to bring fantastic and innovative developments into the market. Are you an entrepreneur within Life Science & Health with an early stage seed venture and are you looking for an investment (TRL2-7)? Submit your proposal via our application portal. Do you have a question? Please contact us via

The Utrecht Health Seed Fund is a joint initiative established by Utrecht Holdings and the Economic Board Utrecht (EBU) with the assistance and support of the EU’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), co-financing of the Dutch Government and support of UMC Utrecht, and the University of Utrecht.

Utrecht Holdings manages the UHSF. Utrecht Holdings has an extensive track record in the field of early-stage life sciences and health investment.

SentryX closes €3.2M seed funding round for the development of next generation pain relief therapeutics

We are delighted with the new investment in SentryX, a next generation, innovative pain relief therapy platform, focusing on orthopedic surgical post-procedural pain.

Press release:

June 9, 2021 – Utrecht, the Netherlands

SentryX, a spin-off of the University Medical Center Utrecht (the Netherlands) today announced that it raised €3.2M in seed funding for the development of their next-generation pain relief therapeutic platform. The round includes an investment from the Utrecht Health Seed Fund.

Every year, millions of people in Europe and the US undergo a significant orthopedic surgical procedure and experience intense post-operative pain as a result. Despite the application of systemic pain medication, most patients still report insufficient pain relief, hampering post-operative recovery. SentryX’s innovative pain relief therapy platform focuses on minimizing post-operative pain to improve the overall patient experience and quality of care.

Bas Oosterman, CEO of SentryX comments: “Our initial results are promising and underscore the potential of our platform to provide superior pain relief. In speaking with orthopedic surgeons worldwide, we are convinced that our platform can make a big impact. We are excited to have the support of our investors in realizing our next development steps.”

Albert van Wijck, anesthesiologist and pain specialist at the University Medical Center Utrecht states: “SentryX is doing important work that addresses an unmet need. Orthopedic surgeries are among the most painful procedures, especially the first day after surgery, despite state-of-the-art analgesic therapy. Pain is not only uncomfortable for the patient, but it also induces complications such as thrombosis, infection, and a prolonged recovery.”

Jaap de Bruin, Fund Manager of UHSF commented: “We are delighted to support the SentryX team in further developing their pain medication platform. We believe that the platform has great potential to lower the burden of pain and medication directly after surgery, benefitting both patients and healthcare systems. This aligns with the vision of UHSF and we look forward to working with SentryX’s outstanding team.”


Background statements

About SentryX

SentryX is a life sciences company based in Utrecht, the Netherlands, that develops next-generation pain relief therapeutics. SentryX was founded by Prof. dr. J.J. Verlaan and Dr. B.J. Oosterman and spun out of the University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands.

For more information, please visit


About Utrecht Health Seed Fund

Utrecht Health Seed Fund (UHSF) is an early-stage life sciences & health investment fund also based in Utrecht, the Netherlands. It focuses on scalable technologies in the fields of Life Sciences (therapeutics and diagnostics), Medical Devices, Digital Health, and Animal Health in the earliest stages of development.

UHSF was established by Utrecht Holdings with the assistance and support of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), UMC Utrecht, and the University of Utrecht.

For more information, please visit



Contact information

Hein Jonkman, MD, MSc,

TargED Biopharmaceuticals appoints Ludo Haazen, M.D. as Chief Medical Officer

TargED Biopharmaceuticals, a biotech spin-off of the University Medical Center Utrecht, today announced the appointment of Ludo Haazen as Chief Medical Officer (CMO).

Kristof Vercruysse, CEO of TargED commented: “We are delighted that Ludo is joining our team as CMO. In Ludo, we found the ideal candidate to support the company’s transition from preclinical to clinical stage company. Ludo’s extensive experience and outstanding track record in the clinical development of new medicinal products, including in the field of acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (aTTP), will be a valuable asset for TargED Biopharmaceuticals.” In his role as CMO, Ludo will design and lead the clinical development of the company’s lead compound, Microlyse, in patients suffering from aTTP and acute ischemic stroke (AIS), in line with regulatory requirements and with support of TargED’s Scientific Advisory Board. Ludo will directly report to Kristof Vercruysse, CEO.

About Ludo Haazen: Ludo obtained his Medical Degree (M.D.) in 1985 from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium as well a postgraduate certificate in Statistics and Epidemiology. He practiced 2 years as resident in internal medicine and 2 years as general practitioner before starting his career of over 30 years in the pharmaceutical industry. As such, Ludo worked as Global Medical Leader and Global Project Leader at Janssen Research Foundation (J&J), as Regulatory and Medical Affairs Director at Orthovita, and for over 18 years now, Ludo has been consulting start-up and small biotech companies. In this role, he held various functions including that of Head of Pharmacovigilance, Medical Director and CMO. At Ablynx (2013- 2017), he provided expert clinical and medical support in the phase II and phase III clinical development program of Caplacizumab in aTTP. Ludo is also appointed as lecturer and examiner by the Free University of Brussels (ULB), and is Review Editor for the medical journal Frontiers Pharmacology for the section Pharmaceutical Medicine and Outcomes Research.

Ludo Haazen stated: “I am excited to join the dynamic TargED team to ensure an efficient and seamless transition of their promising lead product Microlyse into the clinic. Microlyse has the potential to fill an important medical need in the management of various thrombotic diseases and I want to make sure to maximize this potential from a clinical perspective”.

About TargED Biopharmaceuticals: TargED is a UMC Utrecht spin-off founded in July 2020 by Associate prof. Coen Maas, PhD, Steven de Maat, PhD, Marc van Moorsel and Kristof Vercruysse. TargED stands for Targeted Enzyme Delivery and the company develops first-inclass biological drugs that use small antibodies (“nanobodies”) to deliver enzymes to sites of thrombosis, enabling ‘targeted thrombolysis’. In November 2020, TargED raised a EUR 1.35 million seed investment to develop their lead compound Microlyse. Microlyse accelerates the degradation of blood clots that obstruct the vasculature and, consequently, reduce the risk for organ failure. TargED’s objective is to accelerate thrombolysis in all forms of thrombosis, irrespective of the thrombus composition or location. Its first target indications are acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (aTTP) and acute ischemic stroke (AIS).

NTrans Technologies closes Series A investment to accelerate development of gene editing therapy

We’re excited to be investing in NTrans Technologies BV, a gene editing therapy company focusing on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, together with Essential Ventures, BOP Capital and Starfish Innovations.

May 27, 2021
Utrecht, The Netherlands – NTrans Technologies (NTrans), a leader in gene editing technologies, today announced a Series A investment of 2 million Euros, led by Essential Investments, together with BOP Capital, Utrecht Health Seed Fund, and Starfish Innovations. Through this investment, NTrans aims to advance the development of its gene editing-based therapy for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). The funds will be used to demonstrate preclinical efficacy and safety of the therapy in DMD disease models, in preparation for its progression to the clinic.

NTrans, a spin-off of the Hubrecht Institute of the Netherlands Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences, is a leader in developing novel gene editing technologies for the treatment of inheritable diseases and cancer. Its proprietary therapeutic platform to treat genetic muscle disease, triggers a cell’s natural uptake mechanism to safely deliver gene editing systems, like CRISPR-Cas, into the target cell, where it efficiently corrects the function of the defective gene.

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is a devastating genetic disease characterized by progressive muscle degeneration, for which there is no cure. Onset occurs usually in boys between the ages of 2 and 3 years, whose average life expectancy is 26 years. DMD is caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene and affects all voluntary muscles in the body. NTrans’ iTOP DMD gene editing treatment will be used to preserve the critical arm function in DMD patients. Sustained upper extremity function is extremely important as it allows a patient to independently control his wheelchair, computer, phone and feed himself. It preserves a great level of independence and thereby significantly enhances the quality of life. NTrans aims to offer a treatment that will permanently repair the dystrophin gene mutation with a single intramuscular administration.

Marco de Boer, CEO of NTrans says: “We are are thrilled to have strong support from such an outstanding group of investors, each with their own broad networks, to help advance NTrans and its programs. We look forward to strengthening our team and infrastructure to progress NTrans’ innovative programs with the goal of delivering breakthrough gene-editing therapies to the patient.”

Prof. Niels Geijsen, co-founder and scientific advisor of NTrans, commented: “Gene editing technologies hold great promise for the treatment of genetic disorders, and NTrans’ platform can fundamentally improve the efficacy and safety of these therapies. In collaboration with experts at Leiden University Medical Center and other academic centers, we will optimize our technology for clinical applications, with a focus on muscle diseases.”

Peter Schoevers (Essential Investments), on behalf of the investors, commented: “We look forward to a fruitful collaboration with the NTrans team. The company has demonstrated scientificexcellence and we believe its technology platform can play a crucial role in the introduction of life-changing gene editing therapies into the clinic.”


NTrans Technologies
Marco de Boer | Chief Executive Officer

Background statements:

About Essential Investments
Essential Investments is a seed capital fund focusing on high tech companies within the life sciences sector. The Netherlands-based fund provides seed and early-stage investments for R&D-intensive start-ups and ventures. Backed by experienced angel investors and a strong network, the fund uses a hands-on mentality to help innovations reach the market.

About BOP Capital
BOP Capital is a multidisciplinary venture fund focused on investing alongside entrepreneurs, scientists and management teams operating companies with a strong focus on innovation and impact; supporting the transition of society towards a more sustainable and socially responsible environment through challenging the status quo. While we remain sector agnostic, our portfolio companies mainly operate in the broader definition of the technology and life science industry. We have an active network of experts in various sub sectors to support us during due diligence and the partnership with our portfolio companies.

About Utrecht Health Seed Fund
Utrecht Health Seed Fund (UHSF) is an early-stage life sciences & health investment fund based out of Utrecht, The Netherlands, focused on scalable technologies in the field of Life Sciences (therapeutics and diagnostics), Medical Devices, Digital Health, and Animal Health in the earliest stages of development. UHSF is established by Utrecht Holdings with the assistance and support of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), UMC Utrecht, and the University of Utrecht. For more information, please visit

About Starfish Innovations
Starfish Innovations is an investment fund and commercialization hub that seeks to accelerate breakthroughs in regenerative medicine. Founded in 2016 by the Leiden University Medical Center, Starfish Innovations scouts for early-stage technologies in the field of regenerative medicine through her direct access to the promising science at LUMC as well as her global network of academic institutions and industry alike. For more information, please visit