Life Sciences Research for Lifelong Health

Babraham’s 7th Biotechnology Investment Forum fosters finance opportunities

Babraham Bioscience Technologies (BBT) held its seventh Biotechnology Investment Forum (BIF) this week at the Babraham Research Campus, bringing together 15 early-stage biomedical ventures from across the UK with over 30 biotechnology-focused investor groups. A range of companies, seeking investment from £350k to £7M, were selected to pitch their technology and business propositions. This included ventures developing therapeutics and diagnostics for lung cancer, drugs to tackle anti-inflammatory diseases, angiogenesis and drug-resistant infections. The keynote lecture was given by Kevin Johnson, one of the founders of Cambridge Antibody Technologies and currently CEO of PanGenetics and adviser to Geneva-based venture capital investment firm Index Ventures. Around 90 delegates attended the Forum, sponsored by Taylor Vinters and supported by Cambridge Enterprise and ERBI. Derek Jones, BBT’s Chief Executive said, “This is BBT’s most ambitious BIF to date with the largest number of delegates since the Forum was established. BBT plays a pivotal role in stimulating partnerships between entrepreneurs and investors through events like this. We hope that today’s Forum will have initiated relationships to facilitate the financing of early-stage bioventures.” Dr Hermann Hauser of Amadeus Capital Partners said, “The BIF was an excellent conference which allowed investors to listen to a number of high-quality company presentations in one day. I found it stimulating and I am following up a number of companies for potential investments.” Patrick Farrant, head of the technology team at Taylor Vinters said, "We are already advising some of the medical device and biotech businesses who pitched for funding today so it was rewarding to be able to help our clients by working with BBT, ERBI and Cambridge Enterprise to facilitate putting new and early-stage biomedical companies in front of Venture Capital and Business Angel investor groups interested in biotechnology. My team thoroughly enjoyed the day and have heard some eloquently pitched exciting propositions." Two companies located in Babraham’s Bioincubator presented at the forum. UroSens are developing novel urine tests for detecting bladder and prostate cancer; this non-invasive, pain-free test with immediate results potentially offers savings to the NHS of $315M per year. Senexis, developing treatments and diagnostics for ageing related diseases like Alzheimer’s, are seeking funding for clinical development. Mark Treherne, CEO of Senexis commented, “This proved to be a very useful day for Senexis that enabled us to meet a number of potential investors, who have already requested further meetings to learn more about our Alzheimer’s programmes. We look forward to next year’s event.” Established in 2006 by BBT, the Forum has proved an excellent means to encourage bioscience investment through presentation and networking opportunities for bioscience companies and investors. Shawn Manning of Singer Capital Markets said, “This was a well organised and informative day, effectively showcasing a wide selection of new technologies pioneered by upcoming innovative biotech companies, both from the Eastern Region and elsewhere”. Contact details: The Knowledge Exchange Office Email: Tel:       +44 (0)1223 496206 Derek Jones, Chief Executive Officer Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd Email: Tel: +44 (0)1223 496262 Fax: +44 (0)1223 496020 Nicola Kinsey, Commercial Liaison Manager Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd Email: Tel: +44 (0)1223 496334 Fax: +44 (0)1223 496020 Notes for Editors: Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd is the wholly-owned subsidiary and trading arm of the Babraham Institute. Coalescing scientific, technological and commercial excellence, BBT delivers the Knowledge Transfer remit of the Institute, catalysing opportunities for enterprise across the academic and commercial divide. BBT brings together all the elements to support innovation and enable the successful exploitation of research in the biomedical sector based on technologies emanating from the Babraham Institute and bioventures relocating to the Babraham Research Campus. Website: The Babraham Research Campus is the UK’s leading knowledge-driven Biomedical Park where world-class research, business know-how and entrepreneurial excellence come together to stimulate effective knowledge transfer and bridge the academic and commercial divide. The campus provides a unique and highly successful environment that actively fosters innovation and plays a pivotal role for biomedical start-up companies in the Cambridge region, delivering innovation at the frontiers of biomedical research. BBT has taken a prominent role regionally, initiating and leading partnerships to promote knowledge and skills flow and has established a reputation for successfully translating innovative science into viable business opportunities through partnerships for wealth creation. This is stimulating inward investment to the campus and contributing to regional development. The Babraham Institute is an institute of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) located near Cambridge, undertaking international quality research to support the biomedical aspects of the BBSRC’s mission. The Institute’s research is focused on understanding the biological events that underlie the normal functions of cells and the implication of failure or abnormalities in these processes. The latest technologies are being used to study the basis of conditions such as neurodegenerative disorders, birth defects, cancer and diseases of the immune and cardiovascular systems. With a strategic focus on ‘healthy ageing’, novel approaches for tackling chronic diseases and public health concerns like obesity and inflammatory disorders are being discovered. The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is the UK funding agency for research in the life sciences. Sponsored by Government, BBSRC annually invests around £450 million in a wide range of research that makes a significant contribution to the quality of life for UK citizens and supports a number of important industrial stakeholders including the agriculture, food, chemical and pharmaceutical sectors. BBSRC carries out its mission by funding internationally competitive research, providing training in the biosciences, fostering opportunities for knowledge transfer and innovation and promoting interaction with the public and other stakeholders on issues of scientific interest in universities, centres and institutes. The Babraham Institute, Institute for Animal Health, Institute of Food Research, John Innes Centre and Rothamsted Research are Institutes of BBSRC. The Institutes conduct long-term, mission-oriented research using specialist facilities. They have strong interactions with industry, Government departments and other end-users of their research.


28 May, 2010