Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (SBC), a leading location for development and commercialisation of cutting-edge therapeutics, is pleased to announce the opening of the Lab Hotel, a lab and office facility for early-stage start-ups in the field of advanced therapeutics and drug discovery. Successful companies have access to the Lab Hotel facilities and support free for six months, with the first residents for 2020 being announced as Oppilotech, Exogene and ImmTune Therapies.
Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst opens the Lab Hotel
The Lab Hotel forms part of SBC’s aims to support the translation of early stage research and the commercialisation of innovative new medicines in the UK. For the early-stage start-ups, the Lab Hotel provides a unique opportunity to be based at the heart of the largest cluster of cell and gene therapy companies in Europe, recently awarded Life Science Opportunity Zone and High Potential Opportunity (HPO) status by the Department for International Trade.
Start-ups awarded space in the Lab Hotel will benefit from access to a vibrant community, business support and specialist scientific facilities. The critical support offered by SBC to the start-ups will enable them to develop their innovations and secure their next round of funding.
Dr Sally Ann Forsyth, CEO at SBC, said “We are very pleased to welcome to the SBC community Oppilotech, ImmTune Therapies and Exogene as the first occupants of the Lab Hotel. The provision of support for translation of early stage research is part of SBC’s vision and helping start-ups to achieve this can only improve the position of the UK as a life science leader.
"Our inaugural first occupants were chosen as part of a competitive selective process in which early-stage spin-outs from UK universities and start-ups from UK accelerators were invited to apply."
Dr Ajay Mistry, CEO at Oppilotech, said “Oppilotech is delighted to be part of the Lab Hotel. We have already been impressed with how quickly the team were able to help us in sourcing a piece of kit. We are looking forward to immersing ourselves into the vibrant Pharma and Biotech ecosystem at Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst.".
Federico Paoletti, CEO at Exogene, said “Exogene is thoroughly excited to be a part of the Lab Hotel, we look forward to utilising the space to continue our research over the next six months while being surrounded by the community at Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst”.
Dr George Tetley, CSO at ImmTune Therapies, said “ImmTune Therapies is thrilled to be involved in the Lab Hotel at Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, and excited to see how the next six months with access to its facilities and support structure will advance our research”.
About Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst
Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst is a world-leading science park of global significance and located at the centre of the largest cluster of cell and gene therapy companies in Europe. Since its opening in 2012, occupier companies have secured £1.6bn in funding and it has attracted over 40 high-profile occupier businesses and world-class research organisations to Stevenage. This includes the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult Manufacturing Centre which is currently undergoing expansion to help support up to 12 cell and gene therapy companies.
About Lab Hotel
The Lab Hotel is aimed at supporting early-stage start-ups in the field of life-sciences by providing free lab and office space for 6 months. The lab provides basic molecular equipment as well as specialist equipment for mammalian tissue culture. Each start-up is allocated lab and office space enabling them to fast-track proof-of-concept experiments, without the financial and time pressure of finding the right accommodation.
Oppilotech uses a proprietary high-resolution computational platform based on systems biology and machine learning to accurately model biological processes in cells. By leveraging the platform, Oppilotech is developing drugs against first-in-class targets for anti-infectives and oncology.
About ImmTune Therapies
ImmTune Therapies is developing gene delivery vectors for specific modification of immune cells inside a patient’s body. Their ambition is to enable an in vivo cell therapy process, whereby an injection of their product generates a dose of therapeutic cells, such as CAR-Ts, within the body.
Exogene is an AI-biotech company developing TCR-based immunotherapies for solid tumours by combining high-throughput protein engineering, structural modelling and deep learning.
Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst is a leading location for development and commercialisation of advanced therapeutics. The Campus is home to GSK, the Cell & Gene Therapy Manufacturing Catapult, LifeArc and Cytiva plus 40+ start-up companies which together have raised £1.8 bn equity investment, IPO/FPO, grants and acquisitions since 2012. The facilities provide business support, scientific equipment and scale up advice.