New bio-incubator and life-science accelerator capability launches at Babraham

25/01/2018

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A new bio-incubator and life science accelerator capability has been launched at the Babraham Research Campus. Accelerate@Babraham is supported by AstraZeneca, MedImmune, One Nucleus, and RxCelerate.

Accelerate@Babraham is designed to support the earliest stages of new life-science ventures, by providing easy-access laboratory and office space, (the ‘bio-incubator’) together with supporting programmes of business, science, finance and entrepreneurial mentoring (the ‘accelerator’) provided by strategic partners.

The aim of Accelerate@Babraham is to support the development of science concepts and the creation of new companies by providing access to equipped communal laboratories on short-term agreements, as well as guidance from mentors and introductions to investors.  The concept complements the Babraham Research Campus’ ongoing support of the Cambridge life science cluster through the provision of access to the campus community and infrastructure without the need to be an established occupier on site.

Companies will be able to access the fully equipped communal bio-incubator laboratory and offices on short-term licence agreements rather than lengthy leases.   In addition, they will also have access to practical advice from Accelerate@Babraham’s strategic partners and the wider Babraham Research Campus community, to help them develop their businesses and science into investable propositions.

Accelerate@Babraham is supported by a number of strategic partners.  Current partners are AstraZeneca, MedImmune, One Nucleus and RxCelerate.  Additional supporters will join the programme as it develops.  The current partners have committed to:

  • endorse and support the promotion and marketing of the concept;
  • provide hands-on support to Accelerate@Babraham occupiers through a programme of mentoring and entrepreneurial guidance and;
  • be actively involved in the ongoing strategic development of Accelerate@Babraham.

In addition, some companies already located at the Babraham Research Campus have agreed to provide staff into a mentoring pool in support of the idea behind Accelerate@Babraham.

Further announcements will follow as the concept gains momentum, including the launch of a competition for access to Accelerate@Babraham’s capabilities and funding.

Derek Jones, CEO of Babraham Bioscience Technologies (right) said: “Although incubators and accelerators are well established in the tech industry, life science versions are not so common, given the challenge in providing laboratories and scientific skills to the activities.  We are delighted to have generated such interest from our partners, who like us recognise the importance of nurturing the earliest of life science concepts to help them grow into well-funded, well managed companies.   Our future plans include the creation of a Campus Venture fund, which we hope will attract further interest, resulting in many more opportunities for new ventures to take flight.”

Shaun Grady, VP Business development at AstraZeneca commented: “Supporting life sciences start-ups has proved one of the most enjoyable aspects of our move to Cambridge. We see that we’re making a difference through our business mentoring, and the relationships we are building with the region’s start-ups bring great energy into AstraZeneca. Accelerate@Babraham will help enrich our relationships at the Babraham Research Campus, an environment which we already highly regard as a centre of life sciences energy.”

Jane Osbourn, VP Research and Development for MedImmune said: “As entrepreneurs in biologics with a deep history in Cambridge, MedImmune is proud to help foster the continued growth of the life science cluster in Cambridge and beyond by supporting Accelerate@Babraham. The programme aligns with our commitment to collaboration and to accelerating scientific advancement.”

Tony Jones CEO of One Nucleus commented of the initiative: “We are delighted to support the Accelerate@Babraham initiative. A founding principle of One Nucleus was to facilitate the creation of new companies and translational research in the region. Through supporting initiatives such as this and those entrepreneurs seeking to thrive here we can play our full part in ensuring the sustained success of the cluster.”

David Grainger, Executive Chairman at RxCelerate and Founder & Chief Scientific Advisor at the life-science VC Medicxi said: “It is no longer the availability of risk capital that limits the translation of high-quality basic research into drugs and other medical technologies.  More often, it’s the ability of researchers and entrepreneurs to formulate plans attractive to venture and corporate capital, particularly if they have never done that before.  Initiatives like Accelerate@Babraham are essential to help overcome that roadblock, bringing together exciting new ideas, experienced drug developers, including our team at RxCelerate, and commercial expertise.”

To discover more about Accelerate@Babraham please visit www.babraham.com

Babraham Research Campus

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.

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