Latest Accelerate@Babraham cohort take their places on campus


Babraham Research Campus has welcomed six new ventures to its Accelerate@Babraham 2023 programme.

Accelerate@Babraham supports the development of science concepts and the creation of new companies by providing a taught programme of roundtables and workshops with experts and practitioners, access to equipped communal laboratories, as well as guidance from mentors and introductions to investors. To complement the on-campus programme, the cohort gains 10 months free laboratory space to stress-test its science, plus £10,000 no-strings-attached non-dilutive funding to support its activities.

The accelerator, which started in 2018, is supported by strategic partners AstraZeneca, Eisai, Biomed Realty, Kidney Research UK, Medicines Discovery Catapult, Triple Chasm and LifeArc.

The six starting ventures are:

Aila Biotech (co-founders James Dooley and Adrian Liston) – has a platform based on a unique, patented delivery system enabling immune-modulating biologics to be produced at the site of brain inflammation mitigating cognitive loss.

Bugbiome (founder Alicia Showering) – harnesses the power of the skin microbiome to develop an effective, long-lasting mosquito repellent.

CytoCalx (co-founders Rachael Walker and Diane Proudfoot) – is seeking to generate a biomarker to estimate risk and severity of chronic kidney, and cardiovascular, diseases.

Gigabiome (co-founders Frederick Clasen, Saeed Shoaie and Rajiv Jalan) – is addressing antimicrobial resistance using genomic sequencing and AI technologies after profiling resistance from a patient’s gut/oral microbiomes.

Matrix Bio (founder Chris Mosedale) – uses data analysis and deep learning to identify optimal hydrogel compositions for specific cell-based applications and predict their behaviour in experimental conditions.

Neurothread (founder Tim Chisholm) – aims to diagnose Parkinson’s disease early via an in vitro diagnostic based on a novel method of characterising new protein biomarkers apparent in many neurodegenerative diseases.

Kathryn Chapman, director, science and entrepreneurship, Babraham Research Campus, said: “We were delighted with the calibre and quantity of Accelerate@Babraham applications this year, although it did make for an extremely difficult decision-making process!

“Our 2023 cohort are a passionate group of new life science innovators and entrepreneurs, all of whom have the motivation to push themselves and their science as they engage throughout the programme. 

“We’ve enjoyed getting to know them all over the last couple of weeks as we kicked off the 2023 programme with bootcamp here on campus – a fantastic opportunity for the cohort to come together, share experiences to date and begin meeting and learning from our network, partners and other experts, all of whom give their time freely to support these new ventures.

“The energy levels are high and it’s a real pleasure to be part of the journey of this latest cohort.”

Shaun Grady, senior VP, business development operations AstraZeneca, said: “Accelerate@Babraham plays an important role in the vibrant Cambridge biotech ecosystem and it is great to see the breadth of new ideas and technologies that the entrepreneurs bring to the 2023 programme.”

Published 25.05.23

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