Babraham's Biotechnology Investment Forum 2011 fosters finance opportunities for 16 companies
Babraham Bioscience Technologies (BBT) held its Biotechnology Investment Forum (BIF) 2011 at the Babraham Research Campus, showcasing a wide selection of new technologies pioneered by 16 biotech companies to around 40 biotechnology-focused investor groups. Companies from the length and breadth of the UK were selected to pitch their innovative technology and business propositions, for which they were seeking investment from £250k to £17M. This included Biomarker discovery and service companies, a bio-nanotechnology company developing treatments for inflammatory dermatological conditions, a venture developing improved drug and delivery system for ovarian cancer and technologies to tackle antibiotic-resistant infections.
David Phillips who leads SR One’s investment activities in Europe (GSK’s corporate venture capital arm), gave the keynote lecture, sharing his insights about the role of Corporate Venturing in Life Sciences and current deal activity in the life sciences sector. He said, “The meeting was well organised and well attended. It was a great environment for entrepreneurs to interact with investors and leaders in the biotech industry.’’
It was fabulous to have an audience so engaged with the presentations and so willing to discuss investment,” said Eddie Blair, CEO of Integrated Magnetic Systems, which has developed a business around ‘tunable magnetic proteins’ for separation, diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Dai Hayward, CEO of CellAura Technologies added, “This is a higher success rate than any other investment event I've attended in the last year.”
BioMoti, one of the presenting companies seeking £950k funding, has developed a new platform technology for the delivery of drugs to treat Ovarian cancer. BioMoti has been awarded two ‘Follow-on Funding’ grants from the BBSRC - which provides strategic funding to the Babraham Research Campus - and an Enterprise Fellowship, both schemes designed by the Research Council to help translate innovative science into viable business opportunities. Director Dr Davidson Day Ateh commented, “The Babraham Investment Forum was an excellent opportunity to introduce BioMoti to a large number of active life science investors at a single address. We have benefited from generous BBSRC support with two Follow-on-Fund awards and an Enterprise Fellowship that are enabling us to translate our innovative drug delivery technology from the academic base at QMUL. It is apt that a leading BBSRC Institute hosts such an important event which raises our profile as we engage with potential investors to fund our next development stage.”
Dr Lina Chrisopoulou, pitching for £700k for SPS Healthcare, a company that has developed a novel liposomal drug delivery system to treat basal cell carcinoma and resistant warts, said, "The meeting gave SPS healthcare a great forum for presenting the company and a wonderful opportunity for generating interest and feedback. Lots of great contacts and useful advice came out of it; I left feeling motivated and energised and look forward to more contact with the Institute."
Three companies located in Babraham’s Bioincubator presented at the Forum. Phico Therapeutics Ltd, based at Babraham since 2000, has developed an unique antibacterial product that exceeds the efficacy of other antibiotics and is being trialled as a nasal spray to treat MRSA. Senexis, based at the campus since 2004, is developing treatments and diagnostics for ageing related diseases like Alzheimer’s. Dr Mark Treherne, CEO of Senexis, was pitching for £17M funding to support clinical development.
Cell Guidance Systems Ltd, the latest company to joining the campus in May 2011 is a stem-cell based manufacturing company. CEO, Michael Jones, said, “The Forum provides an excellent opportunity to pitch to investors and meet with other start-ups. The overall quality of presentations was high and we met investors actively seeking to deploy capital. We have started several promising discussions and would not hesitate to recommend BIF for investment partnering.”
Over 100 delegates attended the Forum, which was also supported by Cambridge Enterprise and One Nucleus. Derek Jones, BBT’s Chief Executive said, “This is our most ambitious BIF to date, with the largest number of companies, investors and delegates since the Forum was established. We are delighted with the turnout and feedback from the event. The campus plays a key role bringing together entrepreneurs and investors through events like this and we hope that the Forum will have catalysed conversations leading to the financing of early-stage bioventures. The spin off for us is hopefully they will establish themselves at the Babraham Research Campus, where we have ongoing developments to provide more facilities for companies.”
David Brown, Chairman of BBT’s Board of Directors added, "The 2011 Biotechnology Investment Forum at Babraham Research Campus was outstanding. It gets better every year. The level of presentations from companies was very high indeed; there was an abundance of good science with business potential. And the audience was the largest to date, with a great deal of interest from venture capital companies. Altogether, the day highlighted the excellent potential of young biotechnology companies in the UK."
Bio Companies pitch up for up to £17M in Cambridge (Business Weekly 6th June 2011)
Derek Jones, Chief Executive Officer
Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd
Nicola Kinsey, Senior Operations’ Manager
Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd
The Knowledge Exchange Office
Tel: +44 (0)1223 496206
The Babraham Institute
Babraham Research Campus
Cambridge CB22 3AT
Notes to Editors:
About the Babraham Institute:
The Babraham Institute undertakes world-class life sciences research to generate new knowledge of biological mechanisms underpinning ageing, development and the maintenance of health. Our research focuses on cellular signalling, gene regulation and the impact of epigenetic regulation at different stages of life. By determining how the body reacts to dietary and environmental stimuli and manages microbial and viral interactions, we aim to improve wellbeing and support healthier ageing. The Institute is strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation, through an Institute Core Capability Grant and also receives funding from other UK research councils, charitable foundations, the EU and medical charities.
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, health and well-being 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.
Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd is responsible for managing the Babraham Research Campus’ Bioincubator. 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 campus. 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.