The Netherlands
Data processing


Each year 1.4 million European citizens suffer from a stroke. Stroke significantly affects the quality of life of survivors; physical disability persists for at least three months for half of the patients, and 5 million patients worldwide require intensive long term institutional care. All this results in an economic burden of approximately €38.4 billion per year. Medical imaging, such as CT, is of utmost importance for early diagnosis and choice of treatment for strokes, and when new treatments are developed the decision making progress regarding choice of treatment will become more complicated meaning clinicians need to be better informed.


The medical image analysis market was estimated to be worth €1.5 billion in 2012, growing at a rate of 7.2% to reach €2.2 billion in 2017. Moreover the global radiology market was estimated to be €4 billion in 2014. The clinical trial market is between €4.6 million and €10.3 million per year, with additional trials each year researching novel therapies to treat and prevent acute strokes.


Computational support can almost instantly provide the required information to assist in treatment decisions. More advanced and faster decision making substantially improves the quality of life of stroke patients. Nico-lab has developed a portfolio of 6 algorithms that automatically analyse and quantify radiological images of acute stroke patients. By using Nico-lab’s tools physicians can interpret medical scans in a fast and objective way allowing them to assess stroke severity objectively and make quick, calculated decisions on treatments and monitoring.


Nico-lab has demonstrated the usefulness of the tools through successful completion of the MR CLEAN clinical trial. Their commercial potential was further recognised by Horizon2020, NWO, and the IXA who all awarded grants, as well as pharmaceutical company Bayer who enlisted Nico-lab for data management and scan analysis during a large clinical trial. Nico-lab is currently focusing on setting up a randomised clinical trial and searching for external funding.

I have been working with NLC for a couple of years. From the first moment, NLC saw opportunities where I didn’t. Without the expertise and commitment of NLC, Nico.lab simply wouldn’t exist and we wouldn’t be able to help stroke patients this day.”

Merel Boers
Cofounder and Chief Research Officer at Nico.lab

Meet the team


Henk Marquering



Renan Sales Barros



Merel Boers, PhD



Ruben Mikkers

Venture Partner at NLC

Before joining NLC, Ruben spent 6 years at Robeco Asset Management and almost 14 years in KPMG’s Deals practice, of which the last 6.5 years as a Partner. Ruben brings along a lot of expertise in general financial management and M&A. He is looking forward to use his experience to support NLC with its expansion plans.