Nano-I-Drops wins Venture Challenge Fall 2012

€25,000 for drug carrier for eye drops

December 12, 2012
The winner of the Venture Challenge Fall 2012 and the €25,000 prize money is Nano-I-Drops, which has developed a drug carrier for eye drops based on DNA nanoparticles. The announcement took place at the Dutch Life Sciences & Health Conference on December 11.

According to the jury of the Venture Challenge, composed of experienced life sciences entrepreneurs and investors, Nano-I-Drops has a clear proposition for a real medical need that offers interesting commercial opportunities. Furthermore, there is room for solid IP protection of their technology and application, which further enhances the commercial potential of the venture. "Last but not least, Nano-I-Drops can boast a strong team that brings complementary expertise to the venture", adds Carine van den Brink of Axon Lawyers, who chaired the Venture Challenge jury.

About Nano-I-Drops
In treating eye diseases, the presence of tear fluid and the continuous movement of the eyelids pose serious challenges. To counter these obstacles, frequent administration of highly concentrated eye drops is necessary, which in turn results in two problems: substantial side effects and poor compliance. The latter is a well-known shortcoming of currently used therapies for eye diseases. In general, only 60% of the population is capable of correctly following medical advice when eye drops should be administered three times a day. Nano-I-Drops has developed a drug carrier for eye drops that is based on DNA nanoparticles that exhibit high affinity for the cornea. This high affinity enables lower concentration of active compounds and less frequent administration schemes. The result is less side effects and better compliance, which will boost effectiveness of eye disease therapies. Nano-I-Drops' carrier is suitable for a wide variety of ophthalmic drugs. The venture will first focus on formulating drops for two indications: glaucoma and eye infections, which both represent billion dollar markets.


For more information:
Chrétien Herben, Manager NGI Valorisation | Netherlands Genomics Initiative
T +31 70 344 0959 |

About the Venture Challenge
The Venture Challenge offers advice and coaching on essential elements of setting up a life sciences business. In two 3-day workshops, participating teams are continuously challenged by the facilitators and each other to streamline their business plan and improve their 'pitch'. The team with the best business plan and pitch is awarded €25,000 to further develop their venture.

The Venture Challenge Spring 2013 - the 10th edition! - welcomes submissions by interested parties. The deadline for proposals is February 27. For details on submission requirements and general information on the Venture Challenge visit

The Venture Challenge is part of the start-up support programme: LifeSciences@work -