Report ranks Cambridge University top for transfer technology in UK to cap award-winning w...


A leading business research firm has ranked Cambridge University first for its technology transfer performance - in the same week as three companies from the University’s investment portfolio picked up a clutch of European, national and regional awards.

Cambridge Enterprise, the commercialisation arm of the University, has enjoyed a hugely successful past week, capped by glowing praise from Library House in its Cambridge Cluster Report 2008.

Library House’s report showed that during the last academic year, the University generated £49.4 million from collaborative research and Cambridge Enterprise Limited saw an increase in licensing income to £3.4m, in addition to spin-out activities creating 944 new jobs in the region.

The study also showed the Cambridge Enterprise’s Seed Funds was ranked joint ninth for new spin-out formation, with two firms launched in 2006-07, while it is listed in third place for the number of its active enterprises with 45 firms. With the growing patent, licence and company creation activity, Cambridge Enterprise expects to announce even more impressive figures in their upcoming 2007/08 annual review.

The Library House Report said: “The University of Cambridge is very active in knowledge transfer with business, as previously reported by Library House, and is particularly outstanding in terms of collaborative research, licensing, and spin-out activity”.

Meanwhile, the award spree was headed by Horizon Discovery (Horizon) as it beat off intense national competition from 500 other entrants on Tuesday to land the Best Business Proposition Medical Futures Innovation Award (MFIA).

The company’s gene-engineering platform GENESISTM enables normal human cells to be converted into cancer cells by the introduction of genetic mutations that either cause the onset of cancer in some patients or can result in up to 90% of cancers becoming resistant to currently available drugs. The availability of these cell models enables researchers to develop a range of tests and medicines that will enable doctors to tailor treatment and follow-up care based on the needs of individual cancer patients.

On the same evening, Andrew Lynn, Chief Executive of Orthomimetics Limited was announced as the winner of the Chemistry/Materials award at the inaugural ACES Academic Enterprise Awards 2008. Orthomimetics Ltd, a spin-out from the Cambridge-MIT Institute, UK, has developed implants for the regenerative repair of bone and soft tissue which can be accurately delivered using minimally invasive, single-step procedures.

Last Saturday Sentinel Oncology was announced as the Discovery and Development category winner of the 2008 ERBI Biotech Regional Awards. The Innovation in Drug Discovery & Development Award 2008 recognises the contribution a company makes to the UK's dominant position in the development of innovative new medicines. Sentinel Oncology focuses on the development of drugs that exploit tumour hypoxia and DNA response pathways. The ultimate goal is the discovery of drugs for untreatable cancers.

The three companies are part of the current equity portfolio of 68 companies managed by the Cambridge Enterprise Seed Funds team and Investment Committee.

Teri Willey, Chief Executive of Cambridge Enterprise said: “These three companies are excellent examples of individual success stories behind the Library House numbers. They are made possible through the dedicated work of University scientists who put patient benefit as their number one reason for setting up their company, working in concert with equally dedicated seed investors and managers. We are immensely proud to be associated with these companies and applaud them for performance that would be excellent in any environment, let alone such interesting economic times. ”

Professor Ian Leslie, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, said: “This is very pleasing news, and shows the value of sustained effort in supporting knowledge transfer and of sustained investments in research. We need both. The global downturn will affect us all in the short term but will also profoundly change the shape of our economy in the long term. Resilience to that change will come from new innovations and the capacity to exploit them. This is evidence the Cambridge continues to be a centre for innovation and I am sure that the University will continue to play its role both in the creation and exchange of knowledge.”

Cambridge Enterprise Limited, University of Cambridge

Cambridge Enterprise Limited provides knowledge and technology commercialisation services to University staff and students. Services include intellectual property management, bespoke marketing, negotiation of technology licences and consultancy services. Additionally, Cambridge Enterprise provides specialist surgeries for new companies, one-to-one mentoring by experienced business people, and provides access to seed and venture capital through the Cambridge Enterprise Seed Funds and Cambridge Enterprise Venture Partners.

The 2006/07 year was Cambridge Enterprise’s first year under its new structure as a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Cambridge. The turnover from technology and knowledge transfer was £6.0 million (including £3.4m from licensing) of which £5.3 million (88%) was returned to the University’s academics and departments to encourage innovation and seed new discoveries.

Further information on Cambridge Enterprise can be found:

For further information please contact: Shirley Jamieson

Head of Marketing

Cambridge Enterprise Limited

Tel: 01223 760 339

Library House:


Sentinel Oncology:

Sentinel Oncology is a privately owned small molecule drug discovery company focusing on the discovery and development of new chemical entities for the treatment of cancer. Sentinel has built a pipeline of small molecules designed to target hallmarks of solid tumours. In particular Sentinel is developing small molecule inhibitors that are activated selectively under tumour Hypoxia (the low oxygen environment found in all solid tumours). Our vision is to develop drugs in oncology that are void of the systemic toxicities often associated with chemotherapeutics. The company was founded in 2005 and is located on the Cambridge Science Park, Cambridge, UK. .

ERBI: for more information please see

Horizon Discovery

Horizon Discovery is a translational genomics company founded in June 2007 and is headquartered at the Babraham Research Campus, Cambridge, UK and with additional research laboratories in Torino, Italy. Horizon’s goal is to convert new information on the genetic causes of cancer into laboratory models that will facilitate the discovery and development of drugs that target these “patient-specific” defects.

Horizon has rapidly moved into the personalized medicine market with its range of X-MANTM disease-models; now totaling 90+ cell-lines, custom gene-engineering and drug-profiling services. The company is currently working with leading Cancer Pharma companies, including; Genentech, Millenium, Novartis, OSIP, Agios Pharma, the EUFP7 Migrating Stem-Cell Consortium and the Cancer Research UK funded flag-ship VIMCAD cancer drug discovery consortium (service provider and 1/6th shareholder).

The impact of Horizon technology in the personalized medicine arena can be marked at the patient, clinician, pharmaceutical R&D and health-insurance level; with expandable applications into other therapeutic areas and ‘companion’ diagnostic, prognostic and theranostic fields.

This rapid success and impact of Horizon's proprietary technology has led to Horizon being nominated for a number of regional and national business awards in 2008.

Contact: Dr Darrin M Disley (Commercial Director)

+44 (0)1223 303049 or +44 (0)7786 133893


Orthomimetics Limited is a medical technology company that specialises in the design, development, and manufacture of products for the treatment of sports injuries, trauma other conditions that affect knees, ankles and other articular joints. Formed in 2005 as the first spin-out venture from the Cambridge-MIT Institute, the company is bringing to market a line of medical-device products designed to improve the treatment outcome of first-line surgical procedures for the regenerative repair of articular cartilage, meniscus, ligament and tendon injuries using natural biomaterials. These products are engineered to be compatible with existing surgical techniques and to work in combination with emerging cell- and biologics-based products.

For further information on Orthomimetics please go to our website: or contact Katherine Webster:


Cambridge Enterprise exists to help University of Cambridge inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs make their ideas and concepts more commercially successful for the benefit of society, the UK economy, the inventors and the University.

Cambridge Enterprise, University of Cambridge