Thuja Advisory Board Member Herbert Heyneker receives Dutch Royal Honor

Herbert Heyneker, Advisory Board Member to the Thuja investment team, has been honored by the Dutch Monarchy for his contributions and commitment to biotechnology in the Netherlands and Leiden. Heyneker has been awarded the rank of Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau and received this prestigious Royal award yesterday from the Mayor of Leiden, Henri Lenferink, during a symposium held in honor of the 35th anniversary of the Leiden Bioscience Park.

After earning his Ph.D. from Leiden University in The Netherlands, Heyneker moved in 1975 to San Francisco to accept a postdoc position in Prof. Herbert Boyer’s UCSF laboratory. Here he was involved in pioneering research into gene splicing and somatostatin. Soon afterward, he joined Genentech, founded by Boyer and Swanson, as one of their first employees. In 1984, he moved to the Genentech spinoff Genencor to become Vice-President of Research. In the 90s he co-founded several biotechnology companies including Eos, a functional genomics company, where he was the Chief Technology Officer. He also served on the board of directors for GenPharm and Guava Technologies in the U.S. and the Netherlands for IntroGene (acquired by Crucell), Pharming, Pepscan, ProFibrix, and Prosensa. He is an author on more than 50 scientific papers and inventor on more than 30 patents. Besides his advisory role at Thuja, Herb currently advises to Qiagen and various biotech start-ups, and is Chariman of the Board at Leiden based Mimetas.

Cristal Therapeutics appoints Dr Werner Cautreels as Chairman of the Board and Andre Verwei as CFO

Maastricht, The Netherlands – Cristal Therapeutics, a Phase 2 clinical stage pharmaceutical company developing targeted nanomedicines for the treatment of cancer and other diseases with high unmet patient need, announces that Dr Werner Cautreels is joining the Company’s supervisory board taking on the role of Chairman. Dr Cautreels succeeds Simon Sturge, who steps down to focus on his new role as CEO at Kymab. In addition, Andre Verwei is appointed as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) with immediate effect.

Dr Cautreels was most recently CEO of Selecta Biosciences (SELB: NASDAQ) until his retirement in December 2018, to pursue a portfolio career. Previously he held senior management positions at Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi, Sterling Winthrop and NycomedAmersham in Europe and in the USA. Dr Cautreels has a Ph.D from the University of Antwerp and an Executive MBA from Harvard Business School.

Andre Verwei brings global experience in partnering and financing at a critical time in Cristal Therapeutics’ development as it looks to partner its lead programme CPC634 and to raise additional finance to progress its business strategy. Over the last 20 years he has held senior financial roles at numerous private and listed biotech companies including ProQR (PRQR: NASDAQ), UniQure (QURE: NASDAQ), and IsoTis. He has played an instrumental role across various corporate transactions as well as supporting the IPOs of ProQR on NASDAQ and Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics (later acquired by UniQure) on Euronext Amsterdam. Andre has an MSc in business economics and a RA (Dutch CPA) from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam.

Commenting on his appointment, Dr. Werner Cautreels, Chairman of Cristal Therapeutics said: “I am very pleased to join the Supervisory Board of Cristal Therapeutics as its Chairman and look forward to working with the Board and the Management Team to take the Company to the next stage in its development. I strongly believe that the differentiated therapeutics that are developed using Cristal’s Cripec® nanotechnology platform have the potential to make a significant contribution to the high medical need for patients in oncology and other therapeutic areas.”

Commenting on his appointment, Andre Verwei, CFO of Cristal Therapeutics said: “It is an exciting time to be joining Cristal Therapeutics’ management team, as the Company matures. The Company has built an excellent CriPec® nanotechnology platform and is poised to become a global player in the field of nanomedicines, an area which has huge potential.”

Dr. Axel Mescheder, CEO and CMO of Cristal Therapeutics said: “I would like to welcome Werner and Andre to the Company. They both bring a wealth of global industry experience, complementing the skills and expertise that we have. I am confident that they will play a vital role in supporting the next steps in our corporate development, including advancing our clinical drug program and securing business collaborations around our nanotechnology platform.

“On behalf of Cristal Therapeutics I would like to express our deep gratitude to Simon Sturge for his outstanding strategic guidance of the Company over the past 5 years. We wish him every success in his new role at Kymab.”

Alveron Pharma closes series A round to advance a cyclodextrin based procoagulant medicine into the clinic

16 May 2019, Nijmegen, The Netherlands . Alveron Pharma, a newly incorporated company established by Okklo Life Sciences BV and Sanquinnovate (part of Sanquin), is pleased to announce the closing of a EUR 6.5M Series A financing round led by Thuja together with Waterman Ventures and Oost NL. This investment allows Alveron Pharma to select a lead compound, conduct non-clinical studies, and complete a first clinical study to demonstrate safety and obtain a first clinical readout.

Alveron Pharma will focus on a unique class of cyclodextrin-based drugs, that have the ability to promote blood coagulation without inducing it in the absence of bleeding. Alveron’s first target is to reverse the effects of anticoagulants. Anticoagulants (“blood thinners”) are widely prescribed to patients with increased thromboembolic risk. While effective in preventing thrombosis, these drugs also inhibit blood coagulation when this is needed urgently, e.g. in patients who suffer a major bleed or in case of emergency surgery. Anticoagulant related bleedings are not uncommon, and may be serious, and difficult to treat since no or only selective reversal agents are available. Alveron’s cyclodextrins are unique in the sense that they restore coagulation independent of the type of anticoagulant used. Sales of selective reversal agents have been estimated at around $2 billion per annum.

Ben Nichols, CEO of Alveron Pharma: “There is a clear unmet clinical need for a universal anti-coagulant reversal agent, and the early pre-clinical data for Alveron’s unique cyclodextrin compounds are compelling. Having recently taken a new class of coagulant into clinical trials, I am thrilled to be joining the founders of this business,  Stephan Peters (who conceived the original idea, CSO) and Alex Zwiers (COO), with their expertise on cyclodextrins, and coagulation expert at Sanquin, Joost Meijers  (Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board). Alex was also involved in the development of the world’s first cyclodextrin-based medicine, Bridion®.” 

Multiple factors come together in this investment that are highly attractive”, says Michel Briejer of Thuja, who led this transaction. “A highly experienced and knowledgeable team, a promising set of drug leads, and a reputable partner in the field of blood, Sanquin. We are extremely pleased to be part of this venture and are confident that Alveron will create success for doctors and patients alike.

Synerkine Pharma Raises EUR3.3 Million in Series A Financing

25 March 2019, Utrecht, The Netherlands – Synerkine Pharma B.V., which develops fusion proteins for the treatment of chronic pain, announced today that it successfully closed a EUR 3.3 million Series A financing from Thuja Capital, an undisclosed private investor, and the company’s founders.

Hans Preusting, co-founder and CEO of Synerkine Pharma, said: “We are delighted with the closing of the Series A financing. The proceeds will allow us to deliver a pre-clinical proof of concept in osteoarthritis and neuropathic pain over the next two years. Our lead compound licensed from the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU), a fusion protein of IL4 and IL10, has been shown to significantly reduce chronic pain in multiple pre-clinical models. The therapeutic potential of fusion proteins that mimic endogenous immune molecules and are devoid of the typical analgesic side-effects is substantial in a broad range of pain indications.”

About Synerkine Pharma

Synerkine Pharma focuses on developing novel fusion proteins for the treatment of inflammatory, neuropathic and osteoarthritic pain. Synerkine Pharma was founded in 2018 and has licensed the exclusive rights of its lead compound, a fusion protein of IL4 and IL10, from the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU), the Netherlands. This fusion protein targets common regulatory mechanisms in different types of chronic pain, and has unique properties as demonstrated by UMCU researchers, who showed that it is effective in reducing pain in multiple pre-clinical models. The ability to treat pain with drugs that mimic endogenous immune molecules and are based on a different mechanism of action than the current anti-analgesic drugs holds tremendous therapeutic and commercial potential.

For further enquiries:

Hans Preusting, PhD, MBA
Chief Executive Officer
+31 620 783 355
hans@synerkinepharma.com



ATRO Medical obtains permission to start clinical study with knee meniscus prosthesis

ATRO Medical obtains permission to start clinical study with knee meniscus prosthesis

10 December 2018, Nijmegen, The Netherlands – ATRO Medical BV has obtained permission from the Healthcare and Youth Inspection to implant the meniscal prosthesis Trammpolin® in eighteen patients. ATRO Medical BV does this together with Radboudumc, the Maastricht UMC+ and the Sint Maartenskliniek. This clinical study is used to determine whether Trammpolin® leads to less pain and a more resilient knee in patients.

Cristal Therapeutics appoints Dr. Axel Mescheder as CEO and CMO

Cristal Therapeutics appoints Dr. Axel Mescheder as CEO and CMO

2 November 2018, Maastricht, The Netherlands – Cristal Therapeutics has appointed Dr. Axel Mescheder to the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with immediate effect. He will also serve as Chief Medical Officer (CMO).

Cristal Therapeutics initiates phase 2 clinical trial with CriPec docetaxel in ovarian cancer

Cristal Therapeutics initiates phase 2 clinical trial with CriPec docetaxel in ovarian cancer

25 October 2018 , Maastricht, The Netherlands – Cristal Therapeutics, a clinical stage pharmaceutical company developing unique nanomedicines for the treatment of cancer and other diseases, announced today the first patient has been dosed in its Phase 2 clinical trial of lead nanomedicine candidate CPC634 for patients with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.

MILabs’ VECTor6 with groundbreaking PET performance awarded Innovation of the Year at the WMIC 2018

MILabs’ VECTor6 with groundbreaking PET performance awarded Innovation of the Year at the WMIC 2018

15 September 2018, Utrecht, The Netherlands – MILabs is pleased to announce that its new VECTor6 with Broadband Photon Tomography technique has received the Commercial Innovation Award at the World Molecular Imaging Congress (WMIC) in Seattle September 12th-15th, 2018.

Thuja invests in Salvia BioElectronics

Thuja invests in Salvia BioElectronics

22 May 2018, Eindhoven – Salvia BioElectronics B.V. announced today that it secured € 1.3 million in seed funding to develop a minimally invasive bioelectronics solution for people suffering from chronic neurological disease. The funding is provided by a syndicate led by Thuja Capital Healthcare Seed Fund II and the Brabant Development Agency (BOM), and includes the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl) and founders and employees of Salvia.

Thuja Capital exits NightBalance to Philips

 Thuja Capital exits NightBalance to Philips

8 May, 2018, Utrecht, The Netherlands – Thuja Capital announced it has sold its shareholding in NightBalance B.V. (The Hague, Netherlands) to Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA).

Philips has agreed to acquire all outstanding shares of NightBalance, a digital health scale-up company that has developed an innovative, easy to use device to treat positional obstructive sleep apnea and positional snoring.

NutriLeads wins EUR 2.5M Horizon2020 SME funding

NutriLeads wins EUR 2.5M Horizon2020 SME funding

March 29, Wageningen, The Netherlands. NutriLeads, a Dutch Health Ingredients company announces that its NUTRI-NEED project has been selected for €2.5 million funding under the European Innovation Council SME Instrument (phase 2). The aim of the 2-year project is to prepare NutriLeads’ health promoting food ingredient NL-01 for commercialization.

NightBalance obtains reimbursement in the Netherlands for its innovative sleep apnea therapy

NightBalance obtains reimbursement in the Netherlands for its innovative sleep apnea therapy

22 December 2017, The Hague, The Netherlands – NightBalance, a leader in innovative obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) therapies, today announced that the Dutch National Health Care Institute (ZIN) issued a positive recommendation to include its sleep apnea therapy for reimbursement. The Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport will formally approve inclusion of the SPT® following ZIN’s recommendation.

Cristal Therapeutics awarded €2.5 million Horizon 2020 grant to advance its CriPec®-docetaxel through Phase 2 trials

Cristal Therapeutics awarded €2.5 million Horizon 2020 grant to advance its CriPec®-docetaxel through Phase 2 trials

28 November 2017, Maastricht, The Netherlands – Cristal Therapeutics, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing targeted nanomedicines for the treatment of cancer and other diseases with high unmet patient need, today announced that it secured a €2.5 million grant from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme. 

MILabs’ VECTor6 with groundbreaking PET performance awarded Innovation of the Year at the WMIC 2018

MILabs’ VECTor6 with groundbreaking PET performance awarded Innovation of the Year at the WMIC 2018

15 September 2018, Utrecht, The Netherlands – MILabs is pleased to announce that its new VECTor6 with Broadband Photon Tomography technique has received the Commercial Innovation Award at the World Molecular Imaging Congress (WMIC) in Seattle September 12th-15th, 2018.

Cristal Therapeutics initiates phase 2 clinical trial with CriPec docetaxel in ovarian cancer

Cristal Therapeutics initiates phase 2 clinical trial with CriPec docetaxel in ovarian cancer

25 October 2018 , Maastricht, The Netherlands – Cristal Therapeutics, a clinical stage pharmaceutical company developing unique nanomedicines for the treatment of cancer and other diseases, announced today the first patient has been dosed in its Phase 2 clinical trial of lead nanomedicine candidate CPC634 for patients with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.

Cristal Therapeutics appoints Dr. Axel Mescheder as CEO and CMO

Cristal Therapeutics appoints Dr. Axel Mescheder as CEO and CMO

2 November 2018, Maastricht, The Netherlands – Cristal Therapeutics has appointed Dr. Axel Mescheder to the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with immediate effect. He will also serve as Chief Medical Officer (CMO).