Making a difference

Droia invests globally in young drug development companies that use novel science and innovative approaches to bring promising therapies to patients. We are specialists, investing exclusively in therapeutics for oncology and genetic disease.

Our focus and our in-house team of drug development experts and biotech professionals allow us to accelerate our companies’ progress by actively supporting them from company creation through clinical proof of concept. We are hands-on investors and entrepreneurs, fully dedicated to making an impact and saving patient lives.

Breakthrough focus

For biotech companies, ultimate success is measured in effective patient benefit. Promising therapies should have a material impact on patient prognosis, measured as a function of the severity of the unmet medical need addressed and the improvement in therapeutic benefits as compared to (expected) standard of care.

We only invest in companies that are able, through their technology platforms or scientific insights, to go after previously unsolvable clinical problems. Companies should differentiate not only by way of innovation, but also in the way this innovation translates to clinical breakthrough.

Getting it done

Droia actively scouts for the best science and the best teams. Whether investing in an existing company or creating a new company, we actively participate in our portfolio companies’ development. Our team has deep and specialized experience in disease biology, translational science, clinical development and company building.

We have built many companies from the ground up, supporting and complementing founders and management teams. Our team members dedicate their time to helping their companies, and will take on interim roles within companies to help them get off the ground faster. Our whole organization is geared towards doing what we do best: building great drug development companies.


Droia Labs

Droia Labs is the scientific arm of Droia Ventures and validates novel ideas for young drug development companies. Droia Labs provides state-of-the-art facilities to deliver cutting edge science on groundbreaking ideas. With our team of seasoned scientists and entrepreneurs we make our contribution to ultimately deliver life-changing medicines to patients in need.



  • M.Sc. Engineering, University of Leuven
  • McKinsey & Company
  • Waterland Private Equity

* representing Wepaven BV

Janwillem Naesens *
Managing Partner, Oncology & Droia Group

  • Pharm.D., University of Leuven
  • MBA, Vlerick Management School
  • Arthur D. Little
  • TiGenix
  • Prosensa
  • Tusk Therapeutics
  • Independent board member Erytech, Pharvaris

* representing Primix Bio Ventures BV

Luc Dochez *
Managing Partner, Genetic Disease

  • M.Sc. Bio-Engineering, University of Leuven
  • Founder / former owner of Verelst real estate group
  • Seasoned investor in small and big biotech, venture capital
  • Founder of the Anti Cancer Fund and the Verelst Uterine Cancer Fund

Luc Verelst
Founder & Chairman

  • BA in Biology, University of Virginia
  • PhD in Genetics, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Novartis
  • Celgene (Bristol Myers Squibb)
  • Arch Venture Partners
  • Board member Acceleron Pharma, Sage Therapeutics, Carrick Therapeutics, Shattuck Labs and others

George Golumbeski

  • Master of laws, University of Leuven
  • M.Sc. law and finance, Oxford University and Saïd Business School
  • Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
  • Etex Group

* representing MARA Consulting BV

Matthias De Witte *
Partner, CFO and General Counsel

  • M. Sc. Biomedical Sciences, University of Leuven
  • PhD Biomedical Sciences – Angiogenesis and Metabolism, University of Leuven
  • Starter Fellowship Emmanuelle van der Schueren, VLK
  • PhD fellow IWT & Post-doc fellow FWO

* representing Sascon BV

Sandra Schoors *

  • M. Sc. Biomedical Sciences, University of Leuven
  • PhD Biomedical Sciences – Tumor Immunology, University of Leuven
  • PhD Pharmaceutical Sciences – Polymers, ULB
  • PhD fellow IWT
  • Recipient VCU RDD Peter R. Byron Graduate Student Award
  • Belgian Brain Tumor Support

* Representing KinCon BV

Matthias Van Woensel *

  • BA in Biochemistry, Catholic University in Chile
  • PhD in Cell Biology, UCSF
  • Medivation
  • Praxis Biotech
  • Merken Biotech

Sebastian Bernales
Venture Partner

  • Group leader at the Netherlands Cancer Institute
  • Head of the NKI Robotics and Screening Center
  • Expert in large scale functional genomics
  • Pioneer of pooled screening technology
  • Co-founder of Qameleon Therapeutics

Roderick Beijersbergen
Investment Advisory Board
Sophie Bernier
Compliance Manager

  • Bachelor Pharmaceutical and Biological Techniques Ghent
  • Senior labtechnician at Center for Cancer Biology (CCB), VIB, Leuven

Katleen Brepoels
Research Associate – Droia Labs

  • Master in pharmaceutical sciences, UGent
  • PhD Biochemistry, UGent
  • MBA, Vlerick School for management
  • Founder of VIB
  • Managing Director VIB 1995-2022
  • Non executive director of companies and research institutions

Jo Bury
Investment Advisory Board

  • Master of applied economic sciences KULeuven
  • First laureate BIBF awards
  • Deloitte M&A
  • Finance director CRANIUM

* representing Consillis BV

Sven Collin
Director of Finance
Nathalie De Blieck
Director of Accounting

  • PhD Biomedical Sciences, University of Leuven
  • Doctoral Research at Angiogenesis and Vascular Metabolism lab (VIB) and Woman & Child unit, Cystic Fibrosis lab (KU Leuven/UZ Leuven)
  • MSc Biochemistry-Biotechnology, University of Leuven
  • MSc Management, University of Leuven

Mathias Declercq

  • Master of Laws, University of Ghent and University of Copenhagen
  • LL.M in International Financial Law, King’s College London
  • Lydian
  • De Cronos Groep

* representing ADP Ventures BV

Alexander Depauw
Legal Counsel

  • MSc Cancer, University College London
  • PhD Biomedical Sciences, University of Leuven
  • Doctoral research in Angiogenesis and Vascular Metabolism lab, VIB
  • FWO PhD Fellowship
  • The UCL Cancer Institute Research Trust and Athena SWAN award for Excellence in Science 2014

Pauline De Zeeuw

  • PhD, signaling pathways in disease, Imperial College London
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, translational proteomics, Kings College London
  • Group Leader Target and Pathway Discovery and Validation Group at Galapagos NV
  • Expertise in target and pathway discovery across therapeutic areas

Athanasios Didangelos
Director Translational Science – Droia Labs
Bujana Dragjoshi

  • PhD in Medical Sciences, KU Leuven
  • FWO postdoctoral fellow
  • Postgraduate Business Administration, KU Leuven
  • Former senior staff, Center for Cancer Biology (CCB), VIB, Leuven

Guy Eelen
Director of Biology – Droia Labs

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Biotechnology at University of Oviedo
  • Master of Bioinformatics at KU Leuven (Summa cum laude)
  • PhD in Biomedicine (KU Leuven)
  • FWO PhD fellowship at Stein Aerts lab
  • Publications in Nature Methods and MSB

Carmen Bravo
Bioinformatician – Droia Labs

  • PhD, Biochemistry, Newcastle University
  • Novartis
  • Mass General Brigham Ventures
  • MSD (Merck & Co)
  • RA Ventures

Rez Halse

  • PhD in Biomedical Sciences, KULeuven
  • Full Professor, Center for Human Genetics, KULeuven
  • Director, VIB Center of Cancer Biology
  • Expert in big data, omics and computational biology
  • ISI highly cited researcher

Diether Lambrechts
Investment Advisory Board

  • BS Biochemistry, Boston College
  • MBA, MIT Sloan
  • Novartis
  • Deloitte Consulting
  • Third Rock Ventures
  • Goldfinch Bio

Thomas Martz
Entrepreneur In Residence

  • M. Sc. Biochemistry-Biotechnology, University Leuven
  • PhD Biomedical sciences-Angiogenesis Vascular Metabolism, VIB
  • Postdoctoral Fellow - Immuno-Oncology, VIB
  • Postdoctoral Fellow - Tumor metabolism, University Pennsylvania
  • B.A.E.F. Postdoctoral Fellowship

Rindert Missiaen
Sara Morren
PA Managing Partner & HR Manager

  • Professor of Chemical Biology and Molecular Therapeutics at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Director of the Novartis-Berkeley Translational Chemical Biology Institute
  • Co-Founder of Frontier Medicines
  • Founder of Vicinitas Therapeutics

Dan Nomura
Investment Advisory Board

  • PhD, Oncobiology, University of Leuven
  • Postdoctoral fellow, Translational Autoimmune Disease, University Hospitals Leuven
  • Medical Affairs (MSL), Rare Diseases, Shire
  • Drug Discovery Project Leader & Translational Research Head, Immune-inflammation, Galapagos

* representing Lizalias BV

Kris Nys
VP R&D – Droia Labs

  • M.Sc. in Genetics & Biotechnology, Complutense University of Madrid
  • M.Sc. in Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, ISCIII
  • Doctoral researcher, Spanish National Cancer Research Center
  • Ph.D. in Molecular Biosciences, Autonomous University of Madrid
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Heidelberg University & RWTH Aachen University

Javier Perales-Patón
Bio-informatician – Droia Labs

  • PhD in Biomedical Sciences, University of Leuven
  • Doctoral Researcher in Alzheimer's disease, VIB
  • M.Sc. Biochemistry and Biotechnology, University of Antwerp
  • Master Thesis, MolGen department, VIB
  • Internship Master, diagnostic tests for breast cancer, Multiplicom NV Niel

Dieter Petit
Associate Genetic Diseases

  • M. Sc. Biomedical Sciences, Hasselt University
  • PhD Biomedical Sciences, VIB – University of Antwerp
  • PhD Fellow FWO
  • Postdoctoral Researcher Mayo Clinic Florida
  • Postdoctoral Researcher Indiana University

Stéphanie Philtjens
Bioinformatician – Droia Labs

  • Professor of Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy at UCL Cancer Institute
  • Group Leader of the Immune Regulation and Tumour Immunotherapy Laboratory
  • CRUK Senior Cancer Research Fellow
  • Co-leading scientist CRUK Cancer Immunotherapy Accelerator
  • CSO at Achilles Therapeutics

Sergio Quezada
Investment Advisory Board

  • Executive Chairman of RGenix, Inc
  • Board Member at Biogen, Navidea, Fortress Biotech, Verastem
  • Chief Medical Office/Scientific Advisor: Hummingbird Biosciences, Oncotartis, Lokon
  • Oncology Advisor, Everest Medicines

Eric Rowinsky
Investment Advisory Board

  • M.D. University of Tübingen
  • Professor and Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Basel
  • Founding and Scientific Director of the Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel (IOB)
  • Retinal specialist with expertise in translational research in ophthalmology, especially gene therapy

Hendrik P.N. Scholl
Investment Advisory Board

  • in Bioengineering (cel and gene biotechnology), KU Leuven
  • Ph.D. in Bioengineering, Centre of Microbial and Plant Genetics, KU Leuven
  • Former senior scientist at Galapagos NV and Aelin Therapeutics
  • (Antimicrobial, Cystic Fibrosis and lung fibrosis drug development experience)

Kathleen Sonck
Senior Scientist – Droia Labs

  • M.Sc. Biology Ghent University
  • Labtechnician at Center for Cancer Biology (CCB), VIB, Leuven

Joris Souffreau
Research Associate – Droia Labs
An Steensels
Labmanager – Droia Labs

  • Professor in the Department of Neurosciences at KU Leuven
  • Group leader at the VIB Center for Brain & Disease Research.
  • Head of the Laboratory of Neurobiology at VIB
  • Scientific Founder of Augustine Therapeutics

Ludo Van Den Bosch
Investment Advisory Board

  • Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Associate Director of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research
  • Institute Member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT
  • Instructor of Medicine at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School

Matthew Vander Heiden
Investment Advisory Board

  • M.Sc. Biomedical Sciences KU Leuven
  • Former senior scientist at Galapagos NV and Augustine Therapeutics

Nele Vandervoort
Senior Scientist – Droia Labs
Lawrence Van Helleputte

  • M. Sc. Biomedical Sciences - University of Leuven
  • PhD Biomedical Sciences - VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research
  • IWT Fellowship
  • Recipient of the PJ Dyck Price in 2015, awarded by the Peripheral Nerve Society
  • In vitro Project Lead - CoBioRes
  • Associate - Fund+ NV
  • Corporate Governance Executive Education - Columbia Business School

Lawrence Van Helleputte

  • PhD Medical Sciences, DNA damage in cancer, University of Cambridge, UK
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, novel drug targets in a rare cancer, New York University Langone Health, USA
  • Scientific analyst, Droia Ventures
  • Recipient Cancer Research UK Ph.D. Fellowship
  • Scientific publications in e.g. JNCI, Oncotarget, Eur J Hum Genet

Elke van Oudenhove
Director of Scientific Operations – Droia Labs

  • M.Sc. Biochemistry & Biotechnology Ghent University - VIB
  • Postgraduate Corporate Finance University of Leuven
  • Turnstone Communications
  • KBC Securities - Equity Research
  • KBC Securities - Associate Director Corporate Finance

* Representing Moira Thread Management

Lenny Van Steenhuyse *
Evelien Verdrengh
Office Manager & Executive Assistant

  • Bioengineer, KU Leuven
  • IBD research group, KU Leuven
  • Labmanager at Flamingo Therapeutics

Willem-Jan Wollants
Scientist – Droia Labs



Droia is currently recruiting for its investment and development team. The team scouts for new opportunities, evaluates companies and projects, manages the investment and exit process, and works with the portfolio companies on their progress.

Team members work closely with the portfolio companies at management or board level, and play a hands-on role in all aspects of the drug development process.

Droia is an entrepreneurial environment, where everyone is above all committed to making things happen.

Applicants should have relevant experience in biomedical science, drug development and/or life science investing.

Droia Ventures is currently looking for a

Droia SA

16, Rue Glesener
L-1630 Luxembourg

Droia Ventures

Da Vincilaan 1
1930 Zaventem

Metaptys NV / Droia Labs

Gaston Geenslaan 3
3001 Leuven