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News Article | April 3, 2017
Site: startupjuncture.com

What happens in the startup scene in The Netherlands right now? Find out in another Dutch startup news update! Our Startup-Prince Contantijn van Oranje announced last Wednesday on the populair Dutch TV Show ‘De Wereld Draait Door’ that a new edition of the StartupFest will be held September this year. It will coincide with the populair startup event in September: Amsterdam Capital Week. Last year the titan’s of the tech industry – Tim Cook, Travis Kalanic and Eric Smidt – were speakers among others. Contantijn said that just like last year high profile names will be invited as keynote speakers, hinting that one of the speakers might the founder of Alibaba – Jack Ma. The theme of the event will be a new focus on promoting the involvement of startups in tackling major global problems like climate change, health, energy etc. Silicon Valley based insider security company Dtex Systems has set office in The Hague Security Delta. To prevent data abuse and data breaches the company has developed software to detect insider threats and infiltration from the outside. “We are also eager to work with partners and The Hague Security Delta is the perfect platform to work with governments, knowledge institutions and enterprises to build a solid foundation for the Dtex operations in the Netherlands and beyond”, said Olav van Haren, Sales Director at Dtex Systems. Founded in 1949 Vanderlande is for a long time not a startup anymore. But we still think the recent acquisition of the company deserves some attention. Vanderlande is a global market leader in baggage handling systems for airports and with a revenue of $1.051 billion it’s the world’s fifth-largest materials handling systems supplier. Last month Toyota Industries bought Vanderlande for 1.2 billion euros. The online supermarket raised 100 million euro in growth capital from four wealthy-family funds NPM Capital, De Hoge Dennen, Hoyberg and Finci. It was founded in 2015 after two years of stealth mode development. It has seeded the development of the company in just a few cities and plans to expand throughout the country in three year with the capital raised. It’s two key value propositions are: free delivery and taking out 1 hour of your agenda to stay at home for the delivery. You can on top of that follow the driver (like with Uber) in the app and thus know up to the minute when you’re expected to open the door. It’s contending for biggest deal of the year in The Netherlands and the investment is already in the top 3 of all-time funding in Dutch startups. Dutch/Belgian biotech company Pluriomics has raised an additional 2.5 million euro in funding from Belgian VCs SFPI-FPIM and SambrInvest. The startup is a spin-off from the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC). It uses stem cell technology, disease modelling and cell-based assays development for cardiovascular drug discovery. SciSports, a spin-off of the University of Twenty has raised an additional 1.8 million euro in funding for further expansion. The startup has created a tool called BallJames that gathers 3D data of football games by looking into the field of radiology to try and make football analytics better while partnering with the university’s chair of Biometric Pattern Recognition. The startup previously raised a seed round of 1.35 million euro. SciSports will invest in automating these tools for the media, gambling, and gaming industries, said founder Giels Brouwer to tech.eu. Eindhoven-based SMART-Photonics has managed to raise seven million euro in a second round of investment. The money will be used for further growth, including through building a new plant and additional staff. The company specialises in the development and (mass) production of integrated photonic chips. These chips could eventually replace the electronic chips, because they are faster and more accurate. Ask a Female Engineer: How Can Managers Help Retain Technical Women on Their Team? Here is a great Y Combinator article on why female engineers leave a company. As it should be the folks at Y Combinator asked the female engineers themselves this questions, instead an arm-chair scholar. Building viral growth engines into the product experience can be a great strategy to build momentum and grow your startup. Here is a great article by Josh Elman on virality.

Pluriomics | Date: 2017-04-12

This disclosure generally concerns the fields of cell biology and molecular biology. In particular the invention concerns the field of stem cell biology and maturation of stem cell- derived cardiomyocytes. Disclosed is a method for improving the maturity of stem-cell derived cardiomyocytes, in particular of the ventricular type, as can be witnessed by, for example, an improved upstroke velocity of the stem-cell derived cardiomyocytes.

Pluriomics | Date: 2015-06-05

This disclosure generally concerns the fields of cell biology and molecular biology. In particular the invention concerns the field of stem cell biology and maturation of stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes. Disclosed is a method for improving the maturity of stem-cell derived cardiomyocytes, in particular of the ventricular type, as can be witnessed by, for example, an improved upstroke velocity of the stem-cell derived cardiomyocytes.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ECSEL-IA | Phase: ECSEL-02-2014 | Award Amount: 48.05M | Year: 2015

The goal of the InForMed project is to establish an integrated pilot line for medical devices. The pilot line includes micro-fabrication, assembly and even the fabrication of smart catheters. The heart of this chain is the micro-fabrication and assembly facility of Philips Innovation Services, which will be qualified for small/medium-scale production of medical devices. The pilot facility will be open to other users for pilot production and product validation. It is the aim of the pilot line: to safeguard and consolidate Europes strong position in traditional medical diagnostic equipment, to enable emerging markets - especially in smart minimally invasive instruments and point-of-care diagnostic equipment - and to stimulate the development of entirely new markets, by providing an industrial micro-fabrication and assembly facility where new materials can be processed and assembled. The pilot line will be integrated in a complete innovation value chain from technology concept to high-volume production and system qualification. Protocols will be developed to ensure an efficient technology transfer between the different links in the value chain. Six challenging demonstrators products will be realized that address societal challenges in: Hospital and Heuristic Care and Home care and well-being, and demonstrate the trend towards Smart Health solutions.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.1.4-1 | Award Amount: 7.68M | Year: 2014

Harnessing the capacity of pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) to produce functional cell types with precision and at scale will enable new treatment modalities for degenerative diseases. A major target for such therapies is mesodermal tissue, muscle, bone and cartilage. The goal of PluriMes is to create a bioengineering platform for directing PSCs into specific classes of mesodermal/mesenchymal progenitor. The project pulls together stem cell experts, genetic engineers, developmental biologists, cell therapy pioneers, bioengineers and specialist SMEs in a cross-disciplinary collaborative effort. Close-working between partners will be maximised through specialist workshops, laboratory exchange schemes, regular workpackage meetings, and joint Deliverables. The concept underlying PluriMes is that refined control of early fate decisions to produce correctly specified progenitors will be obtained through confronting developmental principles with engineering logic. We aim to define ground states and resolve issues of hierarchy, heterogeneity and stability in order to provide standardised PSC and mesodermal progenitor cell populations. A toolbox of fluorescent reporters will be developed for live cell tracking. Cutting edge bioengineering approaches will be implemented for dynamic topological administration of morphogens, matrices, small molecule modulators and siRNAs in 2D and 3D contexts. Through SME involvement, culture systems will be optimised for specification and subsequent stable expansion of mesodermal progenitors. The capacity of PSC-derived mesodermal cells for maturation into skeletal muscle, bone and cartilage will be tested in vitro and in vivo using lineage reporters. Potency will then be evaluated in pre-clinical disease models. Scale up protocols will be implemented in partnership with SMEs using the latest bioreactor technologies. Finally, GMP compliance and validated applicability to clinical grade stem cells will underpin future cell therapy propositions.

Colak S.,Center for Experimental Molecular Medicine | Zimberlin C.D.,Center for Experimental Molecular Medicine | Fessler E.,Center for Experimental Molecular Medicine | Hogdal L.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | And 5 more authors.
Cell Death and Differentiation | Year: 2014

Tumor heterogeneity is in part determined by the existence of cancer stem cells (CSCs) and more differentiated tumor cells. CSCs are considered to be the tumorigenic root of cancers and suggested to be chemotherapy resistant. Here we exploited an assay that allowed us to measure chemotherapy-induced cell death in CSCs and differentiated tumor cells simultaneously. This confirmed that CSCs are selectively resistant to conventional chemotherapy, which we revealed is determined by decreased mitochondrial priming. In agreement, lowering the anti-apoptotic threshold using ABT-737 and WEHI-539 was sufficient to enhance chemotherapy efficacy, whereas ABT-199 failed to sensitize CSCs. Our data therefore point to a crucial role of BCLXL in protecting CSCs from chemotherapy and suggest that BH3 mimetics, in combination with chemotherapy, can be an efficient way to target chemotherapy-resistant CSCs. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

Davis R.P.,Leiden University | Davis R.P.,Netherlands Proteomics Center | van den Berg C.W.,Leiden University | Casini S.,Leiden University | And 4 more authors.
Trends in Molecular Medicine | Year: 2011

Recent advances in pluripotent stem cell biology now make it possible to generate human cardiomyocytes in vitro from both healthy individuals and from patients with cardiac abnormalities. This offers unprecedented opportunities to study cardiac disease development 'in a dish' and establish novel platforms for drug discovery, either to prevent disease progression or to reverse it. In this review paper, we discuss some of the genetic diseases that affect the heart and illustrate how these new paradigms could assist our understanding of cardiac pathogenesis and aid in drug discovery. In particular, we highlight the limitations of other commonly used model systems in predicting the consequences of drug exposure on the human heart. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: SME-2 | Phase: SMEInst-05-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 3.23M | Year: 2016

Pluriomics is an international Dutch/Belgian biotech company specialised in developing stem cell-based assays for cardiac safety pharmacology and drug discovery and development. Pluriomics developed a unique proprietary protocol to differentiate heart muscle cells derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). The company provides its customers with reliable cell technology systems to test potential drugs in the preclinical phase with high predictive value. Safety issues remains a key problem in drug development. This is amongst others emphasised by the case of AstraZeneca where 82% of pre-clinical and 62% of phase I project closures where related to safety issues. Out of the safety related failures the cardiovascular system is involved in 17% of the preclinical failures and 24% of the clinical failures. Examples of cardiovascular effects, include arrhythmias, hypertrophy, hypertension and reduced ventricular function, which may lead to increased cardiac risk and possibly death. Additional reasons for the decline in success rates are related to the lack of predictive models for early drug efficacy screening. Pluriomics has developed Pluricyte Cardiomyocytes and integrated proprietary assay systems to overcome the abovementioned challenges. Enabling market uptake and distribution of cell technology based innovations can be challenging, with large scale production and development of regulatory compliant predictive models as main challenges. DeCISIoN will tackle these challenges and thus accelerate market uptake of their cardiac safety assays. DeCISIoN will take the next steps and deliver 1) an up-scaled and more cost-effective manufacturing process; 2) novel, validated, predictive high-throughput cardiac assays for further improved cardiac toxicity and drug efficacy testing and 3) a fully developed marketing and commercialisation strategy for the cardiac assays. As such, DeCISIoN will take Pluriomics cardiac assays from TRL6 to TRL9.

The current disclosure relates to a culture medium, different methods to generate adult-like cardiomyocytes from pluripotent embryonic stem cells (ESC) and/or (induced) pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) using the medium, in particular from stem cells that differentiated into (foetal) cardiomyocytes, and to kits comprising the medium, or the medium together with differentiated (foetal) cardiomyocytes derived from pluripotent embryonic stem cells (ESC) and/or (induced) pluripotent stem cells (iPSC).

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