Accelerate@Babraham start-up competition: short-listed finalists announced


Eight life science start-ups will pitch head-to-head next week (11th July) to win access to the Babraham Research Campus bio-incubator facilities, Accelerate@Babraham.

Launched in January 2018, the objective of Accelerate@Babraham is to support the development of science concepts and the creation of new life science companies by providing access to equipped communal laboratories on short-term agreements, as well as guidance from mentors and introductions to investors.

The first Accelerate@Babraham Start-up Competition goes one step further, giving up to five new companies the chance to win access to the Accelerate programme for a three-month period from September 2018.  In addition, the winners will receive £20,000, with one of these cash prizes being sponsored by Medimmune. 

The competition was launched in May and having received numerous applications, the Accelerate@Babraham team has narrowed down the short-listed finalists to the following eight:

  • Antiverse Ltd
  • Flomics
  • Kalium Diagnostics
  • Oppilotech Ltd
  • Qkine Ltd
  • Sixfold Bioscience Ltd
  • SNPr Ltd
  • VisusNano Ltd

The finalists will pitch to a panel of expert judges, including David Grainger, Partner at Medixci and John Trainer, VP and Head of Partnering and Strategy at MedImmune, at the competition final in The Cambridge Building at the Babraham Research Campus on Wednesday 11th July. 

The event, starting at 15:45, follows on from the final day of the One Nucleus ON Helix conference and is likely to attract a large audience, all keen to support the next generation of start-ups. The event is free to attend and open to all, including ON Helix delegates. However, those wishing to attend must register via the following link:

Having heard presentations from all eight short-listed ventures, the winners will be announced at a drinks reception immediately after the pitches. The successful ventures will secure access to Accelerate@Babraham’s bio-incubator facilities, including communal equipped laboratory space, flexible workspace within the Babraham Research Campus’ stimulating and supportive environment and access to its community hub, which includes office, meeting and social spaces.

In addition, finalists will receive: 

  • £20K non-dilutive funding per venture.
  • 1-2-1 mentoring from world-class scientific, technical and business experts
  • Access to the Babraham Research Campus’ highly experienced life science, healthcare, business and investor networks.
  • Access to Accelerate@Babraham’s top quality programme, bespoke training sessions and final Demo Day – all run by practitioners expert in life science and bio-innovation.

Dr Karolina Zapadka, Business Acceleration Manager, Accelerate@Babraham (right) commented: “We have been delighted with the response to our first Accelerate@Babraham Start-up Competition.  Applications were particularly strong, and it was a difficult process to narrow the field down to our final eight.  All eight finalists put forward strong business cases coupled with a real passion for life sciences spanning diagnostics, computational modelling, accelerated drug development technology and genomics.  I have no doubt that those chosen to move forward to the programme itself will find the process an exciting and motivating learning curve and I’m sure we will also learn quite a bit along the way from them too!”

Further details of the event, including a full agenda, specific timings and a link to register attendance can be found here

To discover more about Accelerate@Babraham please visit


About the short-listed finalists

  • Antiverse Ltd: Accelerated drug discovery. 1 day return instead of the industry standard of 3-18 months. In addition to speed Antiverse differentiates itself from the competition by superior scale, consistent quality, difficult- target binding, and an animal-free process.
  • Flomics: Flomics is developing a novel blood-based diagnostic tool for a broad range of complex diseases. Its proprietary technology accurately identifies pattern changes in the circulating long RNA molecules of patients. With deep learning algorithms Flomics identify RNA changes associated with disease states in a faster, cheaper and non-invasive way.
  • Kalium Diagnostics: Kalium Diagnostics is developing the world’s first blood potassium test for home and bedside use. This test has the potential to improve the safety, health and lifestyle of over 2 million people who have renal disorders causing hypokalemia or hyperkalemia, including dialysis patients and those with particular rare diseases.
  • Oppilotech Ltd: Oppilotech are taking a systems biology approach to build one of the most detailed computational network models of the outer envelope of Gram-negative bacteria that has ever been assembled. The model is being utilised to develop first-in-class antibacterial drugs that will address the looming antibiotic resistance crisis.
  • Qkine Ltd: Qkine manufacturers high quality growth factors and cytokines. Spun-out from Cambridge University, the company has a strong foundation of know-how and licensed technology and plans to develop this portfolio through in-house R&D and in-licensing.
  • Sixfold Bioscience Ltd: Sixfold Bioscience has developed RNA nanoparticles to deliver gene editing drugs such as CRISPR exclusively to cancer cells, which have demonstrated promising early in vitro and in vivo data.
  • SNPr Ltd: SNPr is developing a platform technology that enables linking genomic variants (SNPs) in non-coding genomic regions to their target genes, holding the promise to unlock the full potential of existing genome-wide association study (GWAS) data.
  • VisusNano Ltd: VisusNano have developed drug-releasing lens implants for use in cataract surgery, providing sustained, controlled release of drugs within the eye, without compromising the optical properties of the lens implant.



Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd (BBT) is responsible for the commercial development of the Babraham Research Campus. The Babraham Research Campus is distinct in its co-location of bioscience companies with the Babraham Institute, a world-renowned research organisation. The Campus provides companies laboratory and office space together with access to outstanding scientific facilities in an ideal geographical location at the core of the Cambridge cluster.

Babraham Research Campus Ltd.