River BioMedics secures €2M seed investment to progress its cardiovascular disease pipeline

  • New Investor Libertatis Ergo Holding joins the financing round alongside existing investors FIRST Fund, KIKK Capital and Oost NL
  • funding to further progress its pipeline of cardiovascular disease targets, taking its total seed financing to €3.8 million
  • Over €2 million in non-dilutive grant funding from EIC (European Innovation Council) to enable the further advancement of its technology

Enschede, The Netherlands, 05 July 2023 – River BioMedics, a cardiovascular drug discovery company using proprietary, cutting edge, 3D human cardiac models, today announced the closure of a €2 million financing round to progress its pipeline of novel genetically validated cardiovascular disease programs. Libertatis Ergo Holding, an independent subsidiary of Leiden University joins the investment syndicate alongside further investment from existing investors FIRST fund, managed by BioGeneration Ventures (BGV), KIKK Capital and Oost NL.

River BioMedics portfolio is focused on addressing the significant unmet need in cardiac disease, with an initial focus on Heart Failure. Its multi-faceted drug discovery approach aims to address the historical translation challenges in CVD – combining novel genetically validated cardiac targets and integrated in-vitro human cardiac models to enhance clinical predictability and address the underlying disease. The €2 million proceeds will be used to further progress compound development for its lead program focused on heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) and drive continued efforts on its earlier stage pipeline.

Heart failure affects 64 million people worldwide with around half of these individuals suffering from Heart Failure with preserved Ejection Fraction (HFpEF). There are few approved treatment options for HFpEF none of which address the underlying disease. This, alongside the conditions’ increasing prevalence make it an area of high unmet medical need.

Dr Nicky Cooper, Chief Executive Officer, River BioMedics, says: “I am delighted to close this funding round which reflects the confidence of our existing investors along with the commitment of Liberatis Ergo Holdings which we welcome greatly. This commitment further validates the efforts River BioMedics has made since the company was founded, and the exciting potential of the novel cardiac targets we are developing and our integrated in-vitro human cardiac models to maximise the pre-clinical to clinical efficacy translation of our portfolio. Moreover, it will allow our lead program to progress further towards lead selection, with the aim to address a significant unmet medical need in heart failure patients.”

Rob Mayfield, Managing Director, Libertatis Ergo Holding, says: “We are proud to be part of this shared mission addressing the unmet need in cardiac disease, together with the exceptional team at River and world class research”


About River BioMedics

River BioMedics, was founded in 2020 by Marcelo Ribeiro, Lisanne Blauw and Professor Robert Passier, as a spin-out from the University of Twente with research associated with LUMC. River is a cardiovascular drug discovery company focused on integrating in-house, cutting-edge bio-engineering technologies, with novel cardiac biology and drug discovery expertise to develop life-transforming medicines for cardiovascular disease. The company is building a portfolio of disease modifying small molecule drugs, against genetically validated, cardiac targets with an initial focus on heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), an area of high unmet medical need. The company’s 3D cardiac strip platform has applicability across all heart diseases and provides in-vitro human PoC early in the discovery process, aiming to enhance pre-clinical to clinical efficacy translation. With the current financing round, River BioMedics will further progress their lead program as a disease modifying approach to HFpEF. River has secured over €2M in grant funding to enable the further advancement of its technology. Including an EIC Transition grant to bring their hiPSC-3D cardiac strips into a high throughput setting and an EIC Pathfinder grant to fund the development of a pumping human Mini-heart (the latter as part of a consortium).  For more information: www.riverbiomedics.com

About Libertatis Ergo Holding

Libertatis Ergo Holding B.V. (LEH) is an active and lead seed-investor in life science and health, wholly owned subsidiary of Leiden University which supports and invests in companies related to Leiden University’s activities: https://libertatisergo.com/  

About FIRST Fund

Fonds InvesteringsRijpe STarters (FIRST) is a pre-seed fund that finances pioneering scientists in The Netherlands active in the emerging fields of regenerative medicine and cardiovascular diseases. FIRST is founded by the Dutch Cardiovascular Alliance (DCVA) and Regenerative Medicine Crossing Borders (RegMed XB) with support of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. BioGeneration Ventures (BGV) supports the FIRST fund as registered fund manager, making available its network, expertise, and facilities. For more information: https://biogenerationventures.com/en/about_us/first

About KIKK Capital

KIKK Capital invests in young companies that have developed and recently launched a new product, process or service. The shareholders and fund management invest not only with capital, but also by providing knowledge, skills and network connections. All its shareholders have their own body of expertise gained from holding leading positions in national and international businesses. KIKK Capital remains actively involved in its participations and holds itself to shared responsibility for the success of every company. For more information: www.kikkcapital.com

About Oost NL

Oost NL (East Netherlands Development Agency) is an agency that focuses its activities and projects on strengthening and stimulating the economy of the provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel, the Netherlands. With their investments, they support starting and growth-phase SMEs. They do this partly with risk capital from various revolving innovation funds, and partly through their knowledge, networks and personal contacts. Through the revolving funds, they provide for direct as well as indirect investment and take care of the fund management. In addition, they stimulate and support public and private investors. The result: growth through financing. For more information: www.oostnl.nl


Lisanne Blauw :  lisanne.blauw@riverbiomedics.com