LifeArc joins AstraZeneca in providing funding towards the continued development of the Babraham Research Campus’ Accelerate@Babraham initiative, which aims to nurture the development of early-stage science concepts and new life science companies.
Accelerate@Babraham attracts additional sponsorship to boost innovation in Cambridge life science cluster
As the second cohort of Accelerate@Babraham start up competition winners begins their five-month programme, the Babraham Research Campus has confirmed a further injection of financial and mentoring support for the initiative from new sponsors LifeArc. The additional funding will bolster the ability of the Babraham Research Campus to drive innovation in early science within the Cambridge life science cluster.
This year’s Accelerate@Babraham competition awarded five ventures a cash prize of £10,000 each and access to laboratory and office facilities at the Babraham Research Campus.
The 2019 cohort who were chosen to be on the programme, which was extended this year from three to five months are:
- CC Bio
- Reflection Therapeutics
- TropoFour Therapeutics
The start-ups will also benefit from an in-depth programme of support, led by an elite group of academic and commercial life science experts.
Derek Jones, CEO, Babraham Bioscience Technologies, which develops and manages the Babraham Research Campus (pictured), commented: “The Accelerate@Babraham initiative is different to many other programmes. As well as providing a non-dilutive cash prize, we also enable access to laboratory facilities to conduct the science, provide mentoring specific to their needs and deliver a wide-reaching programme to help challenge their thinking. In addition, we provide introductions to networks and investors that would not be available elsewhere. Our approach realises results and is attracting significant, heavy-weight support, of which LifeArc is a perfect example. The shared commitment of the Campus and LifeArc to support and bring on the next generation of scientists and talent within the life sciences sector is a great fit for both organisations.”
LifeArc is already involved in activities at the Babraham Research Campus via agreements with Kymab and Cancer Research UK. Taking an active role in Accelerate@Babraham will enable the charity to become more involved with activities on campus and the wider Cambridge ecosystem. It will also offer a window on potential investment opportunities coming through the Accelerate@Babraham pipeline, which could be targets for further investment from LifeArc.
The sponsorship comes from LifeArc’s Seed Fund, which makes investments and provides expertise for early stage spin-out companies within the UK. The fund aims to bridge the gap on the journey of translating innovation and incubate small start-ups to a point where they could attract venture funding.
David Holbrook, Head of Seed Funds, LifeArc said: “LifeArc’s focus is on translation; progressing and supporting work from early, lab-based findings through to a point where it can be further developed and used to transform patients’ lives. Recognising the Babraham Research Campus’ overall contribution to the wider cluster and the support this programme gives to young talent was a major factor in our decision to become more involved.”
The Babraham Research Campus is considered to be the UK’s leading campus to support early-stage bioscience enterprise. World class research and business come together to promote innovation and strengthen links between academia and the commercial world.