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 companies.

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 industry.

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.

More information

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 bioscience facility.

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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