The Netherlands


Many patients present to the general practitioner (GP) with chest pain or atypical symptoms such as shortness of breath, reduced exercise tolerance, which can point to Chronic Coronary Syndrome (CCS) or Stable Angina (SA). SA is a serious pathology that can lead to a heart attack and subsequent death, so early recognition of SA 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 SA. This results in a tremendous burden on health care with respect to patient management, efficiency and costs. A diagnostic test for identifying stable angina (SA) patients in the GP setting is lacking.


With a growing incidence, cardiovascular diseases affect over 125 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 28 million by 2029.


A simple blood test that can identify the chest-pain patients with SA from patients that have chest pain due to non-cardiac causes will be a tremendous step forward. Cardiologists and scientists of the UMC Utrecht (UMCU) have discovered that an extracellular vesicle protein signature can identify SA patients in the GP setting. 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 identify especially female patients with stable angina (AUC 0.87). A male protein signature has also been identified and is currently being validated in the same large cohort (3300 patients) as the first biomarker signature. NLC established the company PERSUASIVE BV which has obtained its first funding and together with the UMCU researchers is further developing the early diagnostic business case for SA.

Meet the team


Dominique de Kleijn



Egbert Smit



Kathrin Ballesteros

Venture Partner at NLC

Kathrin joined NLC in October 2021. She has more than 20 years of experience supporting Startups – mainly in the Life Science business – in different positions as a consultant and coach. Kathrin is a biochemist and holds a PhD in Molecular Neurobiochemistry. Besides her scientific background, she is also trained as a Business Coach, Team Coach & Team Developer and has a Micro master’s in Business Model Innovation. Kathrin brings expertise in supporting early-stage scientific and entrepreneurial projects turning into valuable businesses.