Jan Voskuil – Aeonian Biotech

How did your business start?

I identified problems with commercial antibodies used in research and diagnostics.

I, along with others, raised these issues years ago through discussions on social media such as LinkedIn, which gave me the opportunity to bring this to the international attention of colleagues with both academic and commercial backgrounds. Last year, I published an important article on the subject and this gives me the authority to put the Aeonian Biotech catalogue on the world map.

What does Aeonian Biotech do?

Aeonian Biotech is known for making it easier to find the right immunoreagents (research antibodies) in a very complex market. Our Aeonian Rating® is a filter based on very strict quality requirements and ensures a selection of the very best products in the market for our catalogue. Without it, scientists still too often buy a product that does not detect the right protein, making the interpretation of the data unreliable. They often focus on specificity (it binds to the intended protein), but forget that selectivity (it does not bind to other proteins than the intended one) is also important. The results of expensive clinical trials in phases 2 and 3 may be called into question as a result.

How do you see the future?

Aeonian Biotech is still in a start-up phase, but as we start selling more products, we will become better known and our solution will be better appreciated. The progress of medical and biological research will be faster because the risk of false detection or confusing results will be reduced.

We aim to get more exposure through social media and advertising. We have already achieved this by gaining authority in the years before we started our Dutch venture. The ultimate dream is when our Aeonian Rating® is recognised and used worldwide.

Why at the Leiden Bio Science Park?

Before we moved to the Leiden Bio Science Park, I worked from home for four years to develop my business model and the website. That is not a good idea if you want to make contacts worldwide via the Internet. An IP address that is seen as private is not appreciated by receiving research institutes.

From the moment I moved to the Leiden Bio Science Park, the reputation of Aeonian Biotech skyrocketed. A reputable location is essential.

May I take this opportunity to express my thanks to BioPartner? Their help and environment has given our startup an enormous boost.

As for the park, it seems to me that there is enough space to create a central point where people from all buildings can meet. The park has become huge, but I don’t yet see any interactions between the different companies scattered around the park. Perhaps special events at a central facility would give people the opportunity to meet and get to know each other. That leads to networking.

And beyond work?

Having spent more than 20 years in England, I have come to appreciate the nature there very much. You can literally walk everywhere and enjoy nature. Something that is becoming increasingly difficult in the Netherlands.

I hope that the Dutch farmers who are now struggling, because of the nitrogen restrictions, can find financial support to enrich their fields with more nature and to switch back to the original concept of small-scale farming with many footpaths in between (more like England).

Jan Voskuil

Jan Voskuil is the founder and director of Aeonian Biotech Netherlands BV and Aeonian Biotech Ltd, specialised in the sales of selective antibodies and consultancy respectively. He has honed his experience in immunoreagents and cell biology over more than three decades in which he accumulated his expertise through a PhD in Amsterdam, PostDoc positions in Stanford USA and Oxford UK, as well as managerial roles in several Contract Research Organisations. For 12 years, he was the Chief Scientific Officer of the antibody manufacturer Everest Biotech in the UK.

During his time at Everest Biotech, he addressed the customers’ concerns about the quality of commercial antibodies with the scientific and industrial communities. These efforts resulted in the publication of a string of scientific peer-reviewed and open-access papers. Jan’s contributions led to an invitation to be involved in a global webinar series event on antibody validation together with influencial individuals from both industrial and academic background.

This webinar series was further discussed in a prestigeous paper of which Jan was the initiative taker and first author.

Most recent publications

  • Voskuil JLA, Bandrowski A, Begley CG, Bradbury ARM, Chalmers AD, Gomes AV, Hardcastle T, Lund-Johansen F, Plückthun A, Roncador G, Solache A, Taussig MJ, Trimmer JS, Williams C, Goodman SL, 2020 MAbs 12(1):1794421 “The Antibody Society’s antibody validation webinar series”
  • Voskuil J.L.A., 2017 F1000Research 6:161 “The challenges with the validation of research antibodies”

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