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 contact@uhsf.nl.

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 https://www.sentryx.nl.

 

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 www.uhsf.nl.

 

 

Contact information

Dr. Christiaan de Koning, christiaan.dekoning@sentryx.nl

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).
Contact: info@targedbio.com

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.”

 

Contact:
NTrans Technologies
Marco de Boer | Chief Executive Officer
Email: marco.deboer@ntranstechnologies.com

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 www.uhsf.nl.

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 www.starfishinnovations.com.

 

Moveshelf closes seed investment to accelerate digital transformation of diagnosis and care for movement disorders

We proudly announce UHSF’s second investment, in Moveshelf, together with Locapes Investment Fund. Moveshelf is a digital health company with a unique platform for clinical movement analysis.
We look forward to working with their talented team!
Please find the press release below:

March 2nd, 2021, Utrecht, The Netherlands

 

Moveshelf, a digital health company with a unique platform for clinical movement analysis, has raised a seed investment to accelerate the digital transformation of diagnosis and care for movement disorders. Utrecht Health Seed Fund (UHSF) and Locapes Investment Fund contributed to this round.

One out of four 50+ year olds are confronted with some form of movement disorders, with prevalence rising sharply with age. Severe movement disorders in particular, such as those associated with Osteoarthritis, Stroke, Cerebral palsy, and Parkinson’s disease have a high societal, personal, and economic impact. Movement analysis, the structured and quantified measurement of movement data, is a vital part of the diagnosis and treatment of patients affected by movement disorders. Moveshelf, founded by Ignazio Aleo, PhD (CEO) and Per Slycke (Chairman), integrates movement analysis with clinical systems, providing a digital platform for decision support and objective and quantitative analysis of complex multi-modal datasets.  Similar to what Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS) and Vendor Neutral Archives (VNA) have done for Xrays and MRI imaging since the 1980s, Moveshelf supports the standardization and interoperability of movement analysis technologies.

Ignazio Aleo, CEO of Moveshelf said: “We are thrilled with this collaboration and excited for the next phase of Moveshelf. This is a major milestone, and it will enable us to accelerate our plans and serve our rapidly growing number of clinical customers with our digital platform for movement analysis. Based on feedback that we receive from the clinicians that we work with, we are convinced that we can make a significant difference in patients’ lives.”

Jaap de Bruin, UHSF’s Fund Manager commented: “We are excited to join the journey of Moveshelf and its mission to facilitate movement digitization and diagnosis to improve outcomes for patient groups that face a complex set of disabling movement limitations. Furthermore, we look forward to working with the talented team that is driving the company.”

 

Background statements

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 www.uhsf.nl.

 

About Locapes Investment Fund

Locapes Investment Fund (Locapes) invests in exponential technology ventures with a focus on early stage B2B technology start-ups that have the ambition to improve how people live, work, and stay healthy. Locapes operates primarily from Utrecht, the Netherlands, Stockholm, Sweden and Palo Alto, California. For more information, please visit www.locapes.com.

 

Contact

Johannes Gijsbers, VP of Product

E: johannes.gijsbers@moveshelf.com

TargED receives NWO Take-Off 2

Congratulations to the team of our portfolio company TargED Biopharmaceuticals, as they have been awarded a Take-Off 2 grant from NWO (the Dutch National Science Organization)!