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Accelerate@Babraham gets LifeArc cash injection



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Accelerate@Babraham, the start-up competition, has been given a further injection of cash by a new sponsor, LifeArc.

The money, alongside mentoring support, will help to nurture the development of early-stage science concepts and life science companies.

Second Accelerate@Babraham cohort start their 5 month programme at Babraham Research Campus, seen here with guests and speakers. Picture: Keith Heppell. (17388709)
Second Accelerate@Babraham cohort start their 5 month programme at Babraham Research Campus, seen here with guests and speakers. Picture: Keith Heppell. (17388709)

The announcement came as the second cohort of winners from the competition began their five-month programme, extended from three months last year.

The five ventures - CC Bio, MicrofluidX, Reflection Therapeutics, ShiftBioscience and TropoFour Therapeutics - were awarded £10,000 each and access to laboratory and office facilities at Babraham Research Campus.

Academic and commercial life science experts will also offer significant support to help them get their concepts off the ground.

Derek Jones, CEO of Babraham Bioscience Technologies, which develops and manages the Babraham Research Campus, said: “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 a charity helping turn promising science into benefits for patients.

Second Accelerate@Babraham cohort start their 5 month programme at Babraham Research Campus from left Timothy Newton, Ola Wlodek, Daniel Ives, Matthew Cumming, Marloes Tijssen and Antonie Espinet. Picture: Keith Heppell. (17388710)
Second Accelerate@Babraham cohort start their 5 month programme at Babraham Research Campus from left Timothy Newton, Ola Wlodek, Daniel Ives, Matthew Cumming, Marloes Tijssen and Antonie Espinet. Picture: Keith Heppell. (17388710)

It is already involved in activities at the Babraham Research Campus via agreements with Kymab and Cancer Research UK.

Its involvement in the Accelerate programme is designed to further engage LifeArc in the wider Cambridge ecosystem and offer a window on potential investment opportunities.

The sponsorship comes from LifeArc’s Seed Fund for early stage spin-out companies, which aims to help those translating innovation to reach the point where they can attract venture funding.

David Holbrook, head of seed funds at 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.”


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