Conquest winner of the Health~Holland Venture Challenge Spring 2015


 pitched together with 5 fellow Venture Challenge Teams during the SME Event organized by HollandBio. Conquest has developed a novel nanoparticle technology that provides unique multimodal imaging contrast. Conquest aims to create a revolution in diagnostic imaging. Conquest was represented by Mangala Srinivas, Erik Aarntzen and Frank Smeets of Radboudumc, together they accepted the Health~Holland Venture Challenge prize of Euro 25,000.  

According to the jury of this years’ Venture Challenge teams, presentations and plans were of high quality and showcase a promising rise in the validation of life sciences research. The proposition of Conquest was unanimously chosen by the jury to be the winner of the Venture Challenge Spring 2015 pitch competition.

According to the jury: “Conquest has a clear proposition, answers an unmet medical need and creates a breakthrough in the use of ultrasound imaging. Moreover the Conquest product will not only realize an impact in technology but also will simplify the workflow of diagnostic imaging and ultimately will benefit the patient. The Conquest nanoparticles enable the use of ultrasound for advanced imaging applications, therefore making it affordable and accessible to all.”

The Health-Holland Venture Challenge is one of the activities of the LifeSciences@Work (LS@W) Startup Accelerator Programme. The next call, Fall 2015, is open as of today.




About Conquest

  • Ultrasound imaging is the most widely used imaging modality in the clinic- it is safe, cheap, easy- to-use, does not use radiation or radioactive tracers, and it gives real time information. However, current ultrasound contrast agents are not suitable for application in advanced imaging, as these agents are too large and too unstable to provide specific contrast in lesions with “leaky” vessels, such as most cancers and unstable atherosclerotic plaques. Therefore the use of ultrasound in clinical diagnostic workflows in oncological and cardiovascular imaging is very limited. Due to these shortcomings, current clinical practice is not to choose, but rather to combine multiple imaging modalities to compensate for the shortcomings of one modality with the strengths of another. This results in overly complex and expensive workflows with unnecessary burden to patients.
  • Conquest nanoparticles enable the use of ultrasound for advanced imaging. The nanoparticles are of the right size to accumulate in abnormal tissue with “leaky” vessels. They provide excellent and stable contrast for ultrasound imaging, and can readily be modified to include contrast for other imaging modalities. These unique properties will bring ultrasound to the forefront of imaging in areas currently dominated by more expensive, more difficult and slower imaging modalities such as MRI and CT. This novel nanoparticle technology, providing unique multimodal imaging contrast, will create a revolution in diagnostic imaging.
  • Conquests’ products will significantly improve diagnostic accuracy, patient safety and time-to-diagnosis while reducing imaging costs for e.g. in diagnosis of focal liver lesions by approximately 50%. This is in-line with ongoing budget restraints in hospitals and reimbursements, and the desire to personalize medicine. 

About the Life Sciences@Work Startup Accelerator Programme

  • Starting up a company requires not only a good idea and lots of enthusiasm, but also involves often a long difficult development path with many hurdles. In life sciences taking an invention from the lab to the market typically takes 5 to 10 years and requires several tenths of millions of euros of investment. In case of a new drug this can even take as long as 15 years and cost up to a billion euros. LifeSciences@work (LS@W) helps to overcome these hurdles by bringing together programmes such as the Health~Holland Venture Challenge and the recently launched Health~Holland Value Centre. LS@W has a special focus on Life Sciences researchers with entrepreneurial aspirations. LS@W will continue to nurture the start-up community in which experts, past, present and future entrepreneurs are united.


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