Launch of Babraham BioConcepts Ltd - 1 million investment by Avlar BioVentures


05-09-2006

With the injection of 1 million investment from Avlar BioVentures Fund II LLP, Babraham BioConcepts Limited (BioConcepts) has been launched to form and fund new early-stage life sciences companies associated with the Babraham Research Campus.

BioConcepts has acquired a 10-year pipeline agreement with the Babraham Institute giving it the right to form companies around intellectual property created at the Institute. In addition, BioConcepts receives shareholdings in several early-stage life sciences companies (namely Actinomics, CTM Biotech, Innova Biosciences, MultiProSys and Probe Scientific) that are associated with or have been formed on the Babraham Research Campus.



BioConcepts will work closely with entrepreneurs and scientists to create and nurture emerging companies from world-class science and technology deriving mainly from the Babraham Institute or locating to the Babraham Research Campus. It will provide seed and early round funding, inject specific expertise and provide access to facilities that will enable companies to 'get off the ground'.



This is a unique offering designed to lower the barriers to the formation of high quality early-stage companies. For example, companies coming through BioConcepts will have free access to fully equipped laboratory facilities - meaning they can conduct crucial proof-of-concept experimental work before attempting to raise substantial venture capital finance.



BioConcepts is funded by Avlar BioVentures - the UK's leading exponent of early-stage bioscience investment. Avlar operates an active management style working with management to build companies and shareholder value. This hands-on expertise will be made available to BioConcepts as required.



The Babraham Institute was founded in 1948 and is now a world-leader in cell signalling and developmental genetics. Around 330 staff work at the Institute which received 19m grant & other income in 2005. Babraham is ranked #4 in the UK by citation in its areas of research specialism.



The Babraham Research Campus has become a powerhouse of biocommerce. Presently 29 bioscience companies are located on the Campus, employing around 200 staff. In all, 41 companies have been associated with the Campus since the Bioincubator opened in 1998 and these companies have raised in excess of 150m investment.



The Babraham Campus has long been associated with successful bioventures, most notably Chiroscience and Cambridge Antibody Technology and more recently Arakis, started life and developed at Babraham before moving to larger, dedicated premises.



Importantly, Babraham is a key part of the vision for building the Cambridge cluster - being at the apex of a triangle linking the Cambridge Science Park, Addenbrookes & Papworth Hospitals and the Human Genome Campus at Hinxton. This is evidenced by a major capital investment programme supported by the BBSRC and EEDA to construct new buildings to house new research and commercial activities on the Babraham Research Campus.



Commenting on this investment, Dr Daniel Roach, Investment Director of Avlar said: 'We are delighted to be the lead investor in this exciting venture. Cambridge is the leading centre for biotechnology in the UK and we are convinced that Babraham has a pivotal role in the expansion of the cluster.



'We see BioConcepts' role in creating and nurturing early-stage bioscience companies as vital. There is a funding (and expertise) gap for fledgling companies seeking seed and series A funding - BioConcepts will address this gap and be in on the ground floor of some exciting investment opportunities'.



Dr David Hardman, Chief Executive of Babraham Bioscience Technologies said: 'The partnership with Avlar and its investment in BioConcepts represents a major development for the Babraham Research Campus and will strengthen significantly our support for the region's bioventures.



'The Campus provides physical infrastructure and a nurturing environment and BioConcepts will provide funding and business and scientific mentoring. We are delighted that Avlar has invested in BioConcepts and so brought this extra dimension to our Campus'.







About Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd (BBT)



BBT is the wholly-owned trading subsidiary of the Babraham Institute and manages its knowledge transfer remit. BBT promotes and leads partnerships bringing together all the elements necessary for successful exploitation of the life sciences, supporting innovation in the biomedical sector. Based on the foundations provided by the Babraham Institute's world renowned research, its facilities and its geographical location, BBT looks to provide an holistic approach to knowledge transfer, coalescing scientific, technological and commercial excellence onto the Babraham Research Campus.



See www.babraham.com for more information about BBT.



About the Babraham Institute

The Institute is an independentcharitable organisation, sponsored by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, carrying out world-leading innovative research and advanced training with relevance to the biomedical, biotechnological, pharmaceutical and healthcare research and user communities.



The Institute's research focuses on the mechanisms of cell signalling and gene regulation, which underlie normal cellular processes and functions, and on how their failure or abnormality may lead to disease. As such, Institute scientists are striving to find cures for conditions where there is currently no treatment or where the existing treatment is not fully effective or causes serious side effects.



The latest technologies are being used to study the basis of conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer's, foetal abnormality and cancer. The commercialisation of the Institute's research is managed by its trading subsidiary, Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd. The Babraham Research Campus is located six miles south-east of Cambridge.



See See www.babraham.ac.uk for more information about The Institute.



About Avlar BioVentures

Avlar is a specialist biotechnology venture capital company which currently has over ?95 million under management in Avlar BioVentures Fund I and Avlar BioVentures Fund II. The two funds are focused on seed and early-stage investments and are used to invest in biopharmaceutical, small molecule drug discovery, epigenetics, medtech and related biotechnology opportunities.



Avlar's approach to investment is very much 'hands on', working intensively with companies in the critical stages of development from pre-formation to second round of financing, applying its strategic, entrepreneurial and biotech industry skills.



See www.avlar.com for more information on Avlar.





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For further information, please contact:





Babraham BioScience Technologies 01223 496 205

David Hardman, Chief Executive dj.hardman@babraham.co.uk



Avlar BioVentures Limited 01954 211515

Daniel Roach, Investment Director dan.roach@avlar.com

To read more information, click here.

The Institute is an independent charitable life sciences research institute, strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

Babraham Institute