Achmea and De Friesland Zorgverzekeraar invest in University of Twente spin-off company Ostendum

Health insurers Achmea and De Friesland Zorgverzekeraar are to participate in Ostendum, a MESA+ spin-off company that is developing lab-on-a-chip applications

27-5-2013 — / — Health insurers Achmea and De Friesland Zorgverzekeraar are to participate in Ostendum, a company that is developing lab-on-a-chip applications – tiny laboratories on a chip. Doctors can use these chips to run tests on blood, urine and saliva samples and diagnose a disorder within minutes. Doctors no longer need to send samples, or their patients, to a lab, because the lab-on-a-chip systems are fully portable. This results in tremendous savings, and targeted treatment can be commenced immediately, which is a real benefit to the patient. Ostendum and the two health insurers will sign an agreement on the University of Twente campus on 24 May.

Paul Nederkoorn, CEO of Ostendum, is pleased with the investment, which will be used to bring the technology to market. “By investing in our company, Achmea and De Friesland Zorgverzekeraar are contributing to the development of the portable lab. The benefits will be many, including enabling doctors to help their patients faster and more effectively. In addition, we are pleased to be able to make use of their expertise and their network.”

The lab-on-a-chip system can detect diseases quicker, thus avoiding unnecessary treatments. “Heart attacks in women, for example, are often discovered at a later stage than in men, because in many cases women exhibit different symptoms. Ostendum’s measuring technology is up to 1000 times more sensitive than the methods currently used. This means that the proteins released during a heart attack can be detected much faster. Also, overprescribing can be avoided, because antibiotics will only be administered if the lab-on-a-chip indicates a bacterial infection”, according to Nederkoorn.

“This investment fits seamlessly with our mission, which is to ensure good healthcare and quality of life in an affordable and sustainable manner. It paves the way for faster, better and more efficient treatment, thus preventing unnecessary healthcare costs,” says Diana Monissen, Chair of the Board of Directors of De Friesland Zorgverzekeraar, about the company’s new venture with Ostendum.

“Ostendum is changing the healthcare landscape by enabling doctors to analyse samples bedside, in an ambulance, in their surgeries, or even while on a housecall,” explains Roelof Konterman, Member of the Board of Directors at Achmea.


Ostendum was founded in 2008 as a University of Twente spin-off company. The technology is based on doctoral research conducted by Aurel Ymeti, now CTO of Ostendum. In the five years following the company’s founding, the technology was refined, the system’s reliability was established and the essential patent applications were submitted.

Agreement to be signed

The agreement will be signed on Friday 24 May at 15:00 in the Blomzaal room of the Faculty Club on the University of Twente’s campus. Those present at the signing ceremony will include Diana Monissen, Chair of the Board of Directors of De Friesland Zorgverzekeraar, Roelof Konterman, member of the Board of Directors of Achmea, Kees van Ast, Vice-President of the Executive Board of the University of Twente, and representatives from the Enschede City Council and the Province of Overijssel. There will be an opportunity for questions and interviews following the ceremony.

Note to the press

For more information or to register to attend the signing ceremony, please contact: Joost Bruysters of the University of Twente (06 1048 8228) or (on 24 May) Hinke Barry-Mulder (06 4859 0047).

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