QBIC and NOSHAQ seed finance new vub spin-off ABSCINT

A new VUB spin-off named ABSCINT NV was established. The spin-off is based on technology developed by the joint research efforts of the teams of Tony Lahoutte and Jo Van Ginderachter at VUB and VIB in Brussels. ABSCINT is a clinical stage molecular imaging company that develops diagnostics based on single domain antibodies. Single domain antibodies are unique molecules that were originally discovered at VUB and have been the basis of a number of successful biotech companies.

ABSCINT will focus on the development of radiolabeled single domain antibodies for whole body molecular imaging applications. Molecular imaging is used for the diagnosis of disease, for treatment selection, and monitoring treatment response based on specific molecular markers that can be visualised over the entire body by a short scan. The company has two clinical stage products: one in oncology and one in cardiovascular disease.

Seed financing and solid partnerships
The seed financing round was led by Qbic, whose strong ties in the Liège ecosystem facilitated Noshaq joining the group of investors. The financial support by Qbic, Noshaq, and VUB paved the way for ABSCINT to secure an R&D project with the financial support of the Walloon Region in the frame of the program initiated by BioWin, The Health Competitiveness cluster of Wallonia. Taken together, ABSCINT has access to a total of 2 million € to kick start its activities. Solid partnerships were also established with Xpress Biologics, IRE, UCL, and VUB in the framework of the BioWin grant.

Experienced management team
ABSCINT has set up its operations in Liège, Belgium and appointed Karine Clauwaert as CEO together with Tony Lahoutte as Medical Director. The management team holds strong industry experience and expertise in the production of single domain antibodies, radiopharmaceuticals, and clinical translation of radiolabelled molecules.

  • Karine Clauwaert (CEO): "This financing puts us in an excellent position to accelerate the clinical development of our first products. Our technology is a platform that will bring diagnostic solutions in multiple diseases with high clinical needs. We have attracted a strong team and made strategic partnerships. With the support of our investors we will build our company and bring our products to market.’
  • Tony Lahoutte (Medical Director): "The single domain platform has shown to be very promising in our academic clinical Phase I and Phase II trials. I am excited to bring these compounds in an industrial track that should lead to market approval. The technology can have a significant impact on patient management in the near future.’
  • Marc Noppen, MD, PhD (CEO UZ Brussel): “Modern precision medicine and personalized treatments require (very) early, precision diagnoses. ABSCINT’s methodology (and the track record of its founders) are absolutely promising in fulfilling this need. This is why UZ Brussel endorses, and invests in, this endeavor.’
  • Jean Van Nuwenborg (Qbic): "Combining single domain antibodies with radioactivity could significantly advance diagnosis of a vast array of diseases and improve outcomes for these patients. Qbic is delighted to have brought together this solid group of seed investors and help the ABSCINT team advance its promising pipeline.’
  • Gaetan Servais (CEO Noshaq): “Our equity investment in ABSCINT represents a significant opportunity to participate in the development of what we believe is an exciting diagnostic technology for oncology and cardiovascular diseases. We are pleased to welcome the Company to set-up its operations in Liege with the objective to foster collaborations with other players in the region’.

About UZ Brussel

UZ Brussel (University Hospital Brussels) has a staff of more than 3,800 employees. It is attached to the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel on the Brussels Health Campus in Jette. With 721 hospital beds, it accounts for 30,779 admissions of patients each year from Belgium and abroad, 412,246 consultations (emergencies not included) and 78,840 patients at the emergency care. Its philosophy is founded on three principles: Dutch-speaking, pluralist and social. As a university hospital, it also has a teaching mission and conducts scientific research.


About VUB Vice-Rectorate Innovation & Industry Relations

The mission of the Vice-Rectorate Innovation & Industry Relations is to create a positive impact on society through the valorisation of scientific research. Its operational and multidisciplinary team, VUB TechTransfer, aims to connect the university’s research expertise with society-industry, together with its partners VUB Foundation and Crosstalks.

"In a rapidly changing world where everything is digitalised and technology is getting more and more specialised, co-innovation between university, industry and other partners, is of crucial importance. It leads to fresh perspectives, new skills and groundbreaking solutions to provide an answer to today’s societal challenges.’ - Hugo Thienpont, Vice-Rector Innovation & Industry Relations


About VUB

Vrije Universiteit Brussel is an internationally oriented university in Brussels, the heart of Europe. By providing excellent research and education on a human scale, VUB wants to make an active and committed contribution to a better society.


About VIB

VIB is an entrepreneurial research institute in life sciences located in Flanders, Belgium. VIB’s basic research leads to new and innovative insights into normal and pathological life processes. It unites the expertise of all its collaborators and research groups in a single institute, firmly based on its close partnership with 5 Flemish universities (Ghent University, KU Leuven, University of Antwerp, Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Hasselt University). We are supported by a solid funding program from the Flemish government. VIB has an excellent track record on translating basic scientific results into pharmaceutical, agricultural and industrial applications. Since its foundation in 1996, VIB has created 27 start-up companies, now employing over 1000 people.


About Qbic

Qbic is a seed and early-stage, sector agnostic inter-university fund investing in spin-offs and young innovating companies that have a technology link with Qbic’s partner universities and research institutions.


About Noshaq

Noshaq is a Belgian investment fund and project developer with a portfolio of 464 companies and 600 million euros of resources. Noshaq is the reference financial partner for the creation and development of SMEs in the Liege Region (Wallonia). Over the years, Noshaq has developed a range of financing vehicles in line with the needs and trends of the market and its strategy. Each service offered by Noshaq (capital - loan - leasing) is always determined according to the demand and needs of the owner-investor. The objective is always to have a leverage effect on the company's development.


About BioWin

BioWin is the Health Cluster of Wallonia, Belgium. We are the regional reference holder for all stakeholders in innovative R&I projects in health biotechnology and medical technologies, whether they are companies, research centers or universities. We also aim to promote Wallonia internationally as a world-class life sciences environment for academic, clinical and industrial research.


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