Amsterdam-based VUS Diagnostics, a biotech company specialising in personalised diagnostics for oncology and genetic diseases, has secured €300K in a convertible loan from Innovation Fund North Holland (INH).
Wouter Keij, Fund Manager of Innovation Fund North Holland says, “VUS Diagnostics can help develop new effective medicines by creating all kinds of different DNA variants, and at the same time match patients with cancer to the right medicine. You also include a large patient group in which the phenotype of a mutation is currently unknown.”
A genetic-focused precision diagnostic company
Various gene mutations lead to diverse traits, but the impact of some mutations on diseases remains uncertain.
Cancer DNA analysis enables personalised treatments, aligning therapies with specific cancer traits. Routine DNA diagnostics reveal unclear variants, guiding research on their functions and their response to new medicines.
VUS Diagnostics specialises in large-scale functional testing of DNA variants, particularly in the DNA repair process of cancer. It addresses the uncertainty surrounding gene mutations and their impact on disease by extensively testing these variants. This enables tailored cancer treatments, matching patients with the most effective drugs.
The company’s focus also includes identifying variants where the function is unclear, guiding the development and selection of promising new therapies.
VUS Diagnostics was founded in 2022 by Arne Nedergaard Kousholt with co-founders Zhenya Ivakine, Thomas Thestrup, Philip Schouten and Simon Grund Sørensen.
VUS Diagnostics will use the funds to establish its own laboratory facilities and enhance its testing platform and database. This development aims to enable the delivery of personalised therapies to specific patients in the future.
Co-founder Arne Nedergaard Kousholt says, “After many years working as a basic cancer researcher, it is great to start a new journey and work on transferring lessons learned from research to make an impact on cancer patients.”
“Currently, it is a challenge to tailor the right treatment for cancer patients. With many lessons from the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, and with the help of my excellent co-founders, we have developed a platform technology that allows us to become a major innovative player in helping biotech companies deliver new personalized treatments to patients.”
“We are very grateful for the financial support that INH is providing to our company, and we very much look forward to using this loan to further develop our technology to accelerate the development of our company and soon have an impact on how patients are treated,” adds Kousholt.
Brief about INH
INH is an initiative of the Province of North Holland, University of Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam UMC and Sanquin. The Fund offers loans to companies that need to prove new ideas and concepts, the so-called ‘Proof-of-Concept’ phase.
The INH oversees two funds: one for innovative startups supported by RVO and another for academic startups supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).