We want to transform unique innovations and technologies into excellent businesses in the health care sector.



Nextera AS announces research collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation
Targovax and Oncos Therapeutics creating a Nordic leader in immuno-oncology




The company
Birk Venture is a Scandinavian Investment Company exclusively focusing on the life science industry. The company was in 2010 founded by Hans Ivar Robinson. Our vision is to transform unique innovations and technologies into excellent businesses in the health care sector. We offer venture capital to young companies with significant growth prospects. Our broad industrial experience from the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry and international network, are the foundation for our strategic and long-term investments in life science.


 -  Why life science? The accelerating need for health care services is met by tremendous efforts in research and development from both the governmental and private sectors. New innovative technologies in life science are being developed with high speed. People with medical and health care needs will increasingly benefit from new and improved treatment options. New treatment options create improved quality of life and reduced mortality for people around the world. Our focus is to identify great entrepreneurs and companies with unique technologies with the potential to bring new important health care services to the life science market. By partnering up with entrepreneurs as well as co-investors, we can exploit the market potential offered by new technologies.

How we invest

Birk Venture has a long term and flexible investment approach. We can invest in life science companies in an early stage as well as companies in more developed stage.

We want to build a diversified portfolio of companies in the life science sector. There are some important characteristics and elements that needs to be in place before we invest in a company:

  • Innovative technology addressing a clear global medical need.
  • The technology or product has achieved proof of concept and/or has a strong acceptance in the international scientific environment.
  • Management and Founders represent an excellent platform for development and commercialization of the technology or company.
  • A robust financial plan among investors in order to secure medium to long term funding.

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bullet1 Pharmaceuticals
bullet2 Biotechnology
bullet3 Diagnostics
bullet4 Medical devices and instruments
bullet5 Consumer Health


Birk Venture has a rich deal flow. Our deal flow is coming from various sources such as Universities, start-ups or spin-offs from private sector and from co-investors (Private Investment Consortium).

Who we are

Hans Ivar Robinson

Managing director/Chairman

Hans Ivar has 21 years professional experience in the Pharmaceutical and Biotech industry including 4 years with capital investments in life science. He has held several leading international positions in AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Pronova BioPharma. His experience covers a broad specter within the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. This includes top management, marketing, sales, business development, licensing, regulatory affairs and product life cycle management. His background includes a broad international network in several pharmaceutical and biotech companies in Europe, US and key emerging markets. He has experience working with investors and the financial community including the IPO listing of Pronova BioPharma in 2007. He Founded in 2010 Birk Venture.


Per-Oluf Olsen

Co-investor and external partner

Per-Oluf has 27 years experience in the Pharmaceutical and Biotech industry. He has Top management experience from both small and large organization within Pfizer e.g. Country Manager in Norway /Denmark and Italy, Regional Executive Director for Central and Eastern European Region. Last year he has held the position as CEO of Pronova BioPharma AS.

His experience covers all areas of the business from R&D to running a large organization in one of Europe’s biggest market.

Investment Consortium
A Private Investment Consortium has been established with The Norwegian Radium Hospital Research Foundation, Sarsia Seed and Birk Venture. The main objectives with the Private Investment Consortium are to strengthen and coordinate management resources, secure long term funding to portfolio companies and increase total deal flow.


  • RO Invest

  • Norsk Innovasjonskapital

  • Investinor

  • Svanhild og Arne Musts Fond

It begins with competence – Competence is the basis for understanding the market, the technology and the organisation.

Take the long view – It takes hard work and patience to build great companies. There are no short cuts to success. It takes time for markets to emerge and organisations to develop and mature.

Partnership is fundamental – Strong partnership and involvement with people, organisations and stakeholders is essential to succeed with a company.

Courage to take risk – Decisions should be made based on competence and a clear and consistent strategy. A good business proposal should not be hampered by the risk of failing.

Enjoy the journey – The journey to success will not be smooth and easy. To handle the ups and downs, it is important to work with people that share the same values, business ideas and trust each other. It very often comes down to chemistry between people and having fun working together.


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BerGenBio is a privately-held biotech company built on proprietary screening technology used for the research and pre-clinical development of novel drug targets and associated biomarkers. Based on this novel technology the company is developing first in class therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, with lead programs against metastatic drug resistant solid tumors, EMT and drug resistance. The lead candidate has entered clinical phase 1.

Birk Venture made the first investment in 2011 and has one seat in the board of Directors of the company.

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Nordic Nanovector AS is a privately held company established in 2009. The company develops novel anticancer therapeutics based on The Norwegian Radium Hospital and Nordic Nanovector's own innovative research on tumor targeted antibody based nanovector.

By applying a beta-particle emitting radionuclide conjugated to a tumor seeking carrier, malignant metastasized tumors can be irradiated with minimal damage to nearby healthy normal tissue. This technology aims to prolong survival and improve the quality of life of people who suffer from hematologic cancer in particular non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

Compared with current antibody based therapies on non-Hodgkin Lymphoma which uses the antigen CD20 as the target, Nordic Nanovector' lead compound Betalutin targets the CD37 antigen that is expressed on almost all B-cell in non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Thus, the large number of patients who eventually fail CD20 directed therapies could benefit from CD37 directed therapies.

The leading candidate, Betalutin has entered clinical phase 1.

Birk Venture made the first investment in the company in 2010.

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APIM Therapeutics is a biotechnology company dedicated to the development of novel-cancer agents targeting DNA repair and cell cycle control. The Company is developing a pipeline of peptide compounds that inhibit PCNA-dependent DNA repair in cancer cells. The lead compound, ATX-101, has shown proof-of-concept in multiple preclinical in vitro and in vivo cancer models.

Birk Venture made the first investment in 2011 and has one seat in the board of Directors of the company.

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Targovax was established in 2010 and is developing peptide based active immunotherapy in the form of cancer vaccines. The technology is based on extensive research from Radiumhospitalet and Norsk Hydro. The lead candidate TG01 has initiated phase 1/2 clinical trial in resectable pancreas cancer.

Birk Venture made the first investment in 2012 and has one seat in the board of Directors of the company.

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Nextera is a biotechnology company based on a proprietary new phage display technology. The company develops pharmaceuticals targeting autoimmune diseases through unique new drug targets. Nextera utilizes the pVII capsid protein of filamentous bacteriophages as a scaffold for display of peptides and proteins. The technology fosters easy display of two different proteins on the very same phage particle, thus gaining new functionality to existing phage display systems. Nextera is based on technology from the internationally renowned group of Professor Inger Sandlie at the University of Oslo. Sandlie’s group is one of the pioneers in the field of antibody engineering with articles in highly rated journals such as Nature, Nature reviews in drug discovery and PNAS etc. The company has the vision to be a leading source of new drug targets and drug candidates for autoimmune diseases.

Birk Venture made the first investment in 2010 and has two seats in the board of the Directors of the company.

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Cortendo AB is a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Göteborg, Sweden. Its stock is publicly traded on the NOTC-A-list (OTC) in Norway. Cortendo is a pioneer in the field of cortisol inhibition and has completed early clinical trials in patients with Type 2 diabetes. The lead drug candidate NormoCort™, the 2S,4R-enantiomer of ketoconazole, is expected to enter into a Phase 3 study during Q4’2013 for Cushing’s Syndrome. The company’s strategy is to focus its resources to opportunities where the path to commercialization or partnership is clear and relatively near-term. Strategically, Cortendo’s business model is to commercialize relevant opportunities in the United States while partnering its assets ex-US. Backed by a highly experienced leadership team Cortendo has plans to continue to implement its pipeline expansion efforts in osteoarthritis and diabetes, as well as other near term revenue opportunities.

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Algeta is an oncology company developing treatments for bone metastases and disseminated tumor types. The company's lead product Alpharadin is targeting bone metastases which occur frequently in major cancers including hormone-refractory prostate cancer, breast, lung, kidney and thyroid. The treatment of bone metastases represents an area of high unmet medical need. Algeta's pipeline is built on world-leading, proprietary technology. Algeta is developing new, targeted cancer alpha-pharmaceuticals that harness the unique characteristics of alpha particle emitters to destroy cancer cells. Alpha particle emitters are potent, well tolerated and convenient to use. The first investment from Birk Venture/Investment was made in 2007. Go to Website Back to menu

PCI Biotech® (*exited) has developed a unique and patented photochemical drug delivery technology for use in cancer therapy and other diseases.

PCI (PhotoChemical Internalisation) is a technology for light-directed drug delivery by triggered endosomal release and was developed to introduce therapeutic molecules in a biologically active form specifically into diseased cells. The company’s lead candidate drug is the proprietary photosensitiser Amphinex®.

PCI Biotech® has an ongoing clinical phase I/II study at University College Hospital in London. In this study Amphinex® is combined with the cytotoxic agent bleomycin. The study is primarily enrolling patients with Head & Neck cancer, a disease with local control issues that the PCI technology could potentially contribute to solve.

The company has initiated pre-clinical trials for the use of PCI in the treatment of bladder cancer. Bladder cancer has the highest average per-patient life-time cost of all cancers, mainly due to a high recurrence rate. The currently used chemotherapeutic drugs have limited effect on recurrence and progression, and there is a large unmet therapeutic need. Screening studies indicate that the effect of several of these chemotherapeutic drugs may be significantly enhanced by PCI. The pre-clinical trials will be performed at Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands and at The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway.

PCI Biotech® collaborates closely with The Norwegian Radium Hospital in Oslo, Norway and receives substantial funding on several projects from both the Norwegian Research Council and the EU. The company has an extensive international collaboration network with recognised drug delivery expert groups.

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Nextera AS announces research collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation
Targovax and Oncos Therapeutics creating a Nordic leader in immuno-oncology
Nordic Nanovector with successful IPO at Oslo Børs
Birk Venture in media
Cortendo AB Raises up to $27,5M in Additional Private Placement with Leading U.S. and EU Healthcare Investors
BerGenBio completes NOK 90 million fundraising
Nordic Nanovector presented phase I study data reporting promising clinical activity in patients with relapsed non-Hodgkin lymphoma at ASH
Cortendo Announces HealthCap Leads $11M (NOK 73.4M) Private Placement
Targovax appoints Gunnar Gårdemyr as new CEO
BerGenBio announces first patient dosed in BGB324 AML trial
Targovax has reached primary endpoint for ongoing phase I/II clinical trial.
Nordic Nanovector third quarter report 2014
Nordic Nanovector has successfully completed a 250 MNOK pre-IPO private placement
Targovax successfully completes a 70 MNOK financing
Targovax TG01 immunotherapy reaches phase 2A in operable pancreatic patients
BerGenBio completes 12,5 MUSD in a private placement
Nextera secures 4 MNOK in an internal financing round.
Birk Venture is making an investment in Cortendo AB.
BerGenBio secures additional $6 million as first in class AXL kinase 0 Inhibitor BGB324 approaches clinic
Nordic Nanovector har gjennomført en vellykket emisjon på over NOK 60 millioner
Targovax: Første pasient inkludert i fase I/II klinisk studie med den terapeutiske kreftvaksinen TG01 i operabel bukspyttkjertelkreft.
Thomas Andersen from Pronova Biopharma to become Nextera`s new CEO.
APIM Therapeutics secures venture funding.
Birk Venture is making a second follow up investment in Nextera AS.
Birk Venture joined the Oslo Cancer Cluster last year
Birk Venture is delighted to announce a new investment in the Norwegian based oncology company Targovax
APIM Therapeutics is chosen to present at the Bio-Europe Spring 2012
Capital funding of BerGenBio in Norwegian media
Birk Venture is increasing its engagement in oncology with a new investment in APIM Therapeutics.
Birk Venture invests in BerGenBio
Algeta announced 6. June 2011 positive outcome of Interim Analysis of the pivotal Alpharadin study
New investments in Nextera AS
Birk Venture invests in Nextera AS
Birk Venture is a new member of Oslo Medtech
Birk Venture invests in Nordic Nanovector AS
Birk Venture is the first venture capital company to become a member of Oslo Cancer Cluster.

Nextera AS announces research collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation

Nextera, a Norwegian biotechnology company focused on developing novel and highly disease-specific immunotherapies for autoimmune diseases, cancer and chronic infections announces today that it has entered into a research agreement with Janssen Biotech, Inc., one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.

Nextera Press release