The Netherlands


Many patients present to the general practitioner (GP) or hospital emergency department (ED) with chest pain or atypical symptoms such as shortness of breath, reduced exercise tolerance, which can point to IHD. Because IHD can lead to heart attack, heart failure and death, early recognition of IHD is of utmost importance for patients. Chest pain (angina) is very common and the reason for 4% of all GP visits. When referred to the hospital >80% of these patients turn out to not have IHD. This results in a tremendous burden on health care with respect to patient management, efficiency and costs. A diagnostic test for discriminating stable angina (SA) from unstable angina (UA) and the identification of low vs. high risk patients, respectively, is lacking.


With a growing incidence, cardiovascular diseases affect 36 million patients globally every year, and are the leading cause of death in developed countries. pERSUASIVE will focus on diagnostics of stable angina, which could generate revenues of over 72 million by 2026.


A simple blood test that can identify the patients with SA from patients with UA will be a tremendous step forward. Cardiologists and scientists of the UMC Utrecht (UMCU) have discovered that an extracellular vesicle protein signature can discriminate SA from UA. This patented biomarker signature will be developed as a new diagnostic test.


Results to date indicate that the current blood test, based extracellular vesicle protein biomarker signature, could discriminate especially female patients with unstable angina (AUC 0.93), and stable coronary artery disease with myocardial ischemia (AUC 0.86). Male protein signatures are currently being validated as well in other large cohorts. and simplify the testing process. NLC established the company PERSUASIVE BV and together with the UMCU researchers is further developing the diagnostic business case (under a NWO Take-off grant (40K).)

Meet the team

Egbert Smit

Egbert Smit

Lead Biomarker Ventures


Leo Timmers


dominique de kleijn

Dominique de Kleijn



Johanneke Maenhout

Lead Venture Creation & Venture Partner

Lars Olthof

Lars Olthof

Venture Finance

Driven by the goal of making a positive societal impact through entrepreneurship, Lars joined NLC after finishing my master's degree at the London School of Economics. Together with the rest of the Venture Finance team, he is responsible for designing and validating business models of our new healthtech ventures, managing financing rounds for ventures in the NLC portfolio (both dilutive and non-dilutive), and developing novel financial propositions to ensure all our portfolio companies are financed according to need. This is all done with one single goal in mind: to accelerate the growth of NLC's venture portfolio and bring more groundbreaking medical innovations to the patient.