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CC Bio and Reflection Therapeutics share LifeArc reward

Two start-ups who took part in the Accelerate@Babraham programme have been recognised and rewarded by LifeArc.

CC Bio and Reflection Therapeutics will share a £10,000 reward after being identified as the ‘most progressed’ venture at the end of the bio-accelerator scheme.

From left, im Newton and Ola Wlodek, of Reflection Therapeutics, David Holbrook, head of seed funds at LifeArc, and Matt Cummings and David Corcoran, of CC Bio (31192911)
From left, im Newton and Ola Wlodek, of Reflection Therapeutics, David Holbrook, head of seed funds at LifeArc, and Matt Cummings and David Corcoran, of CC Bio (31192911)

The companies were among five taking part in StartUP@Babraham, the section of the initiative aimed at companies or ideas in pre-seed to seed stage. Babraham Research Campus, which also runs a ScaleUP@Babraham section, offered the companies a non-diluted cash award, free lab and office space and introductions to the campus’ global network, including mentoring and business support.

As part of its support for the project, medical charity LifeArc announced that it would offer an additional prize, which this year it has split.

David Holbrook, head of seed funds at LifeArc, said: “I have been incredibly impressed with the calibre of the start-ups and the progress each has made during this second StartUP@Babraham programme.

“It was no easy task to select who we felt had taken best advantage of the totality of the capabilities of this accelerator programme and who had really made headway in translating their science – and team – towards the next inflection point.

“Both CC Bio and Reflection Therapeutics were impossible to separate, and it is therefore my pleasure to split the award between these two young ventures. I very much look forward to following their progress and that of the remainder of the cohort as they continue to develop the science in their respective fields.”

CC Bio is harnessing synthetic biology to engineer the microbiome. Its two microbiome engineering platforms, CCBED and CCBQQ, evaluate and optimise the potential of thousands of first-in-class therapeutics for to augment an individual’s microbial ecology. The most promising candidates identified from CC Bio’s first discovery phase are now undergoing preclinical development.

Reflection Therapeutics aims to harness regulatory T cells, which suppress our immune systems, to protect motor neurons from attack in ALS, in which neuroinflammation harms brain cells.

Derek Jones, CEO of Babraham Bioscience Technologies, which develops and manages Babraham Research Campus, congratulated the companies in StartUP@Babraham and said: “What we have learnt from this cohort is that the five-month programme is potentially not long enough when trying to combine all the benefits of access to the wider network whilst also trying to get those initial killer experiments done in the lab. Our job now, in consultation with our strategic partners, is to evolve and develop the programme further to ensure we are truly meeting the needs of future cohorts.”

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