Nostics continues mission in Amsterdam
Nostics joined Planet B.io when they were just founded in 2020. Their main focus then; developing a nanotechnology based ultra-rapid COVID-19 testkit that takes minutes instead of hours, with a handheld device. Two years later, Nostics is a successful innovative startup in medical diagnostics, running a platform that allows rapid testing for both viruses and bacteria. By combining nanotechnology, photonics and machine learning, Nostics brings a new type of diagnostics to the world.
From February on Nostics will move their labs from Delft to Amsterdam, where their headquarter is based, and continue their journey to provide accessible, fast and reliable diagnostics worldwide. Together with Rochelle Niemeijer, cofounder and CSO and Vincent Laban, cofounder and CEO, we looked back on their time at Planet B.io and took a brief glance at the plans for the future.
Looking back: What made you join Planet B.io back in 2020?
Vincent: “We were just with a few, when we joined Planet B.io. The COVID-19 epidemic just reached the Netherlands and we were in desperate need of labspace to further develop our COVID-19 testkit. We came in contact with Cindy (Gerhardt, managing director Planet B.io) and Planet B.io, and you offered us the space we needed. The combination of the space and network you offered, the academic environment, and being surrounded by like-minded biotech companies that were scaling up, made us decide to settle at Planet B.io.”
Did Planet B.io live up to your expectations and how did we help you as a company?
Rochelle: “Personally, I’ve had great experiences at Planet B.io. Without Planet B.io Nostics would not be where it is today. We are very grateful for the support we have received to help us through the first critical stages. The Planet B.io hub offers a great ecosystem of knowledge and shared facilities. The team helped us to set up our ML 2 lab, put the safety regulations and protocols in place, and perform regular safety checks.”
Vincent: “Being settled with other growing biotech companies is very valuable. Every entrepreneur is going through the same stages of development. Growing your business, dealing with staff matters and creating a value proposition. You all face the same challenges. I learned a lot from talking to our neighbours.
Also, being located on the Biotech Campus Delft, we were able to work together to set up a testing street for critical staff during COVID and we had a lot of interesting touchpoints with scientists of other companies.”
Rochelle: “Due to their close link with TU Delft, we found several new team members to join Nostics. At Planet B.io, we had a place where we could grow our team without having to move. You have a complete package to offer – an inspirational setting on the Biotech Campus Delft, which is great to welcome partners and guests. But you also gave us opportunities to attend informative seminars, and fun community events.“
Nostics has made enormous steps as a company. Previously known as Spektrax, you now employ 26 people working on developing a truly instant diagnostics platform, at offices in Amsterdam and Delft, the Netherlands and you are focusing on the US market. With combining the teams in Amsterdam, what do you foresee for the future?
Rochelle: “As you mentioned, our team grew a lot over the past years and we continue to do so. Most of the employees we acquire live in Amsterdam and surroundings. Moreover, we closely collaborate with the Amsterdam UMC hospital in 2 projects, in which we use their blood samples. It will be easier and more convenient to process the samples when we are close by. By moving our labs and team to our headquarter in Amsterdam, we hope to bring the team closer together and speed up the development of the company.
In Amsterdam, we are still surrounded by other start-ups, however we will have a whole floor for ourselves. I will definitely miss the interaction and chats at the coffee machine with other companies, but it is a good step for the company.”
Vincent: “Looking at the bigger picture, Nostics has focused on the international market since the very beginning. In November 2022 we filed the pre-submission to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for our novel diagnostic tool for bacterial infection identification. Our next step is to find academic partners and then launch the first assay in the US, after FDA approval, on our roadmap to accessible point of care diagnostics.”
But you are not gone completely, right?
Vincent: “Yes you are right, we will keep on renting a space on the site for further research on consumables. Although this will be done in a small team, we will keep the tie with Delft and Planet B.io! Thank you for all your support in the last years!”