Stevenage BioScience Catalyst and Kurma
Life Sciences Partners collaborate to boost investment in UK bioscience
26 March 2012
Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (SBC), the UK's first open
innovation bioscience campus, and Kurma Life Sciences Partners (Kurma),
which has pioneered a new approach for financing innovation, have signed
a memorandum of understanding to boost funding for new life sciences
One of SBC's main objectives is to play a part in the
rejuvenation of the UK biotechnology sector, and the collaboration with
Kurma will facilitate this. Through the Kurma BioFund 1, Kurma exploits
intellectual property from the Instituts Pasteur and Curie, and other
academic centres of excellence. Under the terms of the agreement, the
parties will work together and independently on sourcing investments
based on innovative science, from both academia and the pharmaceutical
SBC's strong relationships with its stakeholders, the
Wellcome Trust, GlaxoSmithKline and the UK Government, are expected to
facilitate this. In the first instance, it is anticipated that fledgling
companies will be incubated at Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst.
"The SBC is a dynamic and exciting environment for the creation and
development of new companies, led by an energetic and creative
management team. It fits with our goal to work with the most eminent
groups in Europe and to build strong, competitive businesses that are
based upon the very best in innovative science", said Alain Maiore,
Managing Partner of Kurma.
"Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst is
delighted to have signed this memorandum of understanding with Kurma
Life Sciences Partners, and it will form an important part of our
incubation and rejuvenation activities. Kurma is an experienced player
in this area and we expect this interaction to be synergistic with our
other partners such as SR One. We are working on various mechanisms for
the generation of deal flow, and will be launching these shortly", said
Martino Picardo Chief Executive of SBC.
Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst is a joint venture between the UK
Department of Business, Innovation & Skills, GlaxoSmithKline, the
Wellcome Trust, the East of England Development Agency and the
Technology Strategy Board. The £38m development is an independent
Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst is the UK's first open innovation
bioscience campus, pioneering a unique culture to drive early stage
drug discovery and development.
It is backed by £38m of funding from its founding partners:
GlaxoSmithKline, the Wellcome Trust, the Department for Business,
Innovation and Skills, the Technology Strategy Board and the East of
England Development Agency.
Buildings in Phase 1 of the development consist of an Incubator,
an Accelerator and a Hub, covering 60,000 sq ft of laboratory,
office and networking space. The independent facility is expected to
house a range of companies, from virtual and start-up firms to those
which are more established.
Located on the GlaxoSmithKline Stevenage site, Stevenage
Bioscience Catalyst is in the unique position of operating in
proximity to the expertise and resources of a major pharmaceutical
company, close to both London and Cambridge.
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