Making a difference

Droia Oncology Ventures is a specialist investor, dedicated to the fight against cancer. Droia invests in promising new cancer therapies, and accelerates their progress by actively supporting young drug development companies to achieve clinical proof of concept with their lead programs. Droia has an in-house team of drug development professionals who accompany the programs closely and provide hands-on support.

Droia invests in early financing rounds and also incubates new companies. Since cancer is a global disease and cancer research a global endeavour, Droia invests globally.

Breakthrough focus

For life science companies, ultimate success should be measured in effective patient benefit. Droia invests in young companies that employ novel science to develop the most promising and impactful oncology therapies.

Promising therapies will have a material impact on patient prognosis, measured as a function of the severity of the unmet medical need addressed, the improvement in therapeutic benefits as compared to standard of care, and the feasibility of development.

Novel science can innovate in terms of mechanism of action, target, modality, specificity, toxicity,… Above all, novel therapies should be sufficiently differentiated to earn their place among competing therapies in the future standard of care.

Getting it done

Droia actively participates in the development of the portfolio companies. We aim to support portfolio companies at least up to clinical proof of concept. To this end, Droia’s development team has experience in translational development, clinical oncology and entrepreneurship. Droia’s team can assist where useful on preclinical, clinical & CMC development, on IP & regulatory affairs, on licensing, finance & transactions and on general company building. Droia’s network of oncology leaders gives us access to top-level institutions and KOL’s around the world and allows our portfolio companies to benefit from a global knowledge base.


Arcus Biosciences — IPO NYSE (RCUS)

ARCUS Biosciences

ARCUS Biosciences (Hayward, California) develops small-molecules and antibodies to compose proprietary immune-oncology combinations. The company targets tumor related immune suppression, enhanced APC function and immune cell efficacy.

Aura Biosciences

Droiac - Aura Biosciences

Aura Biosciences (Cambridge, Massachusetts) develops tumor targeted viral-like nanoparticles which can encapsulate a wide range of payloads. Aura’s lead product is in clinical trials against ocular melanoma.


Droiac - Bioncotech

Bioncotech (Madrid, Spain) develops nanocomplexes of synthetic dsRNA that target PAMP receptors and TLRs to induce powerful immune responses. Bioncotech is clinically evaluating several immune-oncology combinations with its lead product.

Convert Pharmaceuticals

Droiac - Convert Pharmaceuticals

Convert Pharmaceuticals (Liège, Belgium) develops tumor microenvironment modulated prodrugs, small molecules that are inert upon administration but become potent anti-cancer agents upon reaching the tumor.

Cristal Therapeutics

Droiac - Cristal Therapeutics

Cristal Therapeutics (Maastricht, The Netherlands) develops a polymeric nanoparticle drug delivery platform enhancing the PK properties of chemotherapeutic or nucleotide payloads and improving their uptake in the tumor microenvironment.

Cyteir Therapeutics

Cyteir Therapeutics

Cyteir Therapeutics (Cambridge, Massachusetts) is developing the next generation of synthetic lethal therapies to treat cancer and autoimmune disease.

Frontier Medicines

Frontier Medicines

Frontier Medicines (South San Francisco, California) leverages chemoproteomics and machine learning to accelerate the development of medicines that drug the “undruggable” protein targets that drive human disease.


Droiac - Octimet

Octimet (Beerse, Belgium) is developing a new generation of highly selective MET kinase inhibitors with augmented therapeutic index. The lead compound was licensed from J&J and is being clinically tested in specific MET mutated patient populations.

PACT Pharma

Droiac - Pact Pharma

PACT Pharma (Hayward, California) develops neoantigen-specific adoptive TCR T-cell therapies. PACT’s proprietary neoantigen identification technology advances the feasibility, potency and affordability of personalized cell therapy for cancer.

Tusk Therapeutics — acquired by Roche

Droiac - TUSK Therapeutics

Tusk Therapeutics (Stevenage, UK) is developing novel immune modulating antibodies based on an in-depth understanding of the innate and adaptive immune system.

Investment Team


  • Msc. Business Engineering, Université Catholique de Louvain
  • Executive Master in Finance, Solvay Business School
  • ING Bank, Corporate Banking
  • Floridienne Group, CFO

* Representing Axis Advice sprl

Lionel de Hemptinne *

Chief Financial Officer

  • 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 BVBA

Matthias De Witte *

General Counsel

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

* representing Primix Bioventures bvba

Luc Dochez *

Venture Partner
Janwillem Naesens – Partner at DROIA

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

* representing Onko bvba

Janwillem Naesens *

Managing Partner

  • M. Sc. Biomedical Sciences, University of Leuven
  • PhD Biomedical Sciences – Angiogenesis and Metabolism, University of Leuven
  • Starter Fellowship Emmanuelle van der Schueren, Vlaamse Liga tegen Kanker
  • PhD fellow IWT & Post-doc fellow FWO
  • Nominee Eos Pipet
  • Recipient BiR&D Multidisciplinary PhD Award
  • Scientific publications in e.g. Nature, Cell, Cell Metabolism

Sandra Schoors


  • M.Sc. Engineering, University Ghent
  • Boston Consulting Group
  • Owner / director of SME’s
  • Mandates in private equity and investment organisations (including GIMV, VLAIO)

* representing XIA bvba

Bart Van Hooland *

Founding Partner

  • 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
  • Scientific publications in e.g. EMBO Mol Med, Oncoimmunology, Journal of Controlled Release

Matthias Van Woensel


  • MSc. Business Engineering, University of Leuven
  • CFA – level I
  • Ernst & Young, M&A advisory
  • Corporate finance, M&A, BD, structuring, tax & legal, modeling & valuation
  • Tusk Therapeutics, interim CFO

Joke Vereecken


  • 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


DROIA is currently recruiting for its investment and development team. The team scouts for new opportunities, evaluates companies and projects, manages the investment or 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 a difference in the fight against cancer.

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

Droia SA

35, Allée Scheffer
L-2520 Luxembourg

  Tel. +352 203 01 236

Droia NV

Brusselsesteenweg 11
1860 Meise

  Tel. +32 2 880 67 30