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Hybridize is the winner of the Venture Challenge Spring 2018

At the Dutch Biotech Event, Chrétien Herben, director of the LifeSciences@Work Accelerator, announced Hybridize as winning team of the 19th edition of the Venture Challenge. The LUMC-based startup Hybridize has developed a cost-effective proprietary therapeutic compound that can be intravenously administered to protect the kidney from BK virus-mediated damage while maintaining full immunosuppression. According to the Venture Challenge jury, the therapeutic compound of Hybridize addresses a big unmet medical need in the field of transplantation. The team presented this patented technology with a pitch and excellent Q&A at Loyens & Loeff last week.

Each year, more than 80,000 patients worldwide suffering from end-stage renal disease obtain a lease-on-life by receiving a donated kidney. This dramatically improves their quality of life. While immunosuppression is essential to avoid rejection of the donor kidney, it also dramatically increases the risk of infection. Especially problematic in this setting is the BK virus (BKV), a normally latent virus of the kidney that replicates to clinical levels in 35% of kidney transplant patients. The novel drug developed by Hybridize diminishes the generation of infectious BKV by more than 80% and will delay the need for expensive follow-up procedures, including re-transplantation (estimated at 370.000 euros per patient) and dialysis (90.000 euros per year per patient).

“Our overarching goal is to establish a globally-renowned, anti-viral therapeutic SME, while our immediate future includes transitioning our proprietary therapeutic compound from the experimental to the pre-clinical arena,” states Eric van der Veer, Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine (Nephrology), Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC).

The Venture Challenge Spring 2018 started in April this year and ended today during the Dutch Biotech Event 2018 of HollandBIO. Other participating teams were Predica, Sagacity, HELIA Biomonitoring, SyCap and Precision Immunomics. Participation in the Venture Challenge leads to a clear venture plan, as well as to very well-prepared pitch. Interested in participating? The Fall 2018 edition is open now, register before 10 September! The LifeSciences@Work Accelerator is powered by Health~Holland, Top Sector Life Sciences & Health.

Contact Eric van der Veer for more information about Hybridize.

Photography by Nils van Houts