Flemish government invests quarter of a million euros in Belgian 'Google of genetics'

Universities of Hasselt and Antwerp will validate the technology from start-up BioStrand

The start-up BioStrand receives 235,000 euros in grants from the Flemish government. The investment enables BioStrand, which already raised 2 million euros in June, to evaluate the performance of its technology for genetic research in collaboration with the universities of Hasselt and Antwerp. This scientific validation is the final step for BioStrand to launch its genetic search engine for research and development departments of companies and universities all over the world. “With the extra resources that we invest in BioStrand from Flanders, Belgium, the company can advance internationally and will put Flanders even more in the spotlight,” says Hilde Crevits, Flemish Minister of Economy and Innovation.

Earlier in June, the Belgian BioStrand start-up raised 2 million euros from K&E, the family holding of the founders of the crop protection company Globachem. Two months later, the start-up received a quarter of a million euros in grants from the Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. That final step gets BioStrand ready to modernise genetic research at universities and in companies..


Dr. Ingrid Brands, CEO and co-founder BioStrand: “Our technology is a fundamentally new approach compared to the last 4 decades of genetic data analysis. The Vlaio grant, which allows collaboration with the universities of Hasselt and Antwerp, is therefore very important to us. They will, among other things, thoroughly examine the precision of our technology researching DNA and proteins. That scientific validation will allow us to break through internationally.”


International interest in software subscriptions

In the last couple of month BioStrand has built up a team of 12 technical experts, 3 of which are experienced data scientists, and has moved into the Diepenbeek incubator BioVille.  

From their new premises, the start-up focuses on the collaboration with UAntwerpen and UHasselt as well as convincing other academic and commercial customers. Currently, 3 major universities and several large international organisations from the biotech and healthcare, as well as the food and cosmetic industry have shown interest in the software subscriptions for genetic analysis of BioStrand.  


Hilde Crevits, Flemish Minister of Economy and Innovation: “With the support of the Agency Innovation and Entrepreneurship, we ensure that Flanders stays at the forefront of global biotechnological research. BioStrand's genetic search engine is digitising and modernising genetic research and will contribute to faster and more efficient breakthroughs in genetic R&D. In times of the corona pandemic, this is more important than ever. BioStrand is yet another example that our region proves to be a good breeding ground for start-ups. They can develop in an ideal way, provide jobs locally and still have a major impact worldwide.” 


About BioStrand   

BioStrand offers a revolutionary methodology for identification of genomic similarities and variations and detection of structural anchorpoints that will boost evolutions in precision medicine, drug development and agriculture. The BioStrand methodology offers an unprecedented accuracy in detection of similarities and variations in DNA, RNA and proteins. Through the detection of HYFTSTM, structural 3D information is integrated in the analyses, which revolutionises pattern and profile detection crucial in unravelling disease and biological processes.