The fourth [email protected] cohort has a quintet of winners

Five life science start-ups have been selected in the fourth [email protected] quartet to earn places in what is now recognized as one of the top 25 biotech incubators in Europe.

Mentors for the [email protected] program at the Babraham Research Campus have included, from left, Andy Richards, Jonathan Milner and Derek Jones. Photo: Keith Hepell

CamRegen, Creasallis, Medusa Pharma, Mosaic Therapeutics and Neobe Therapeutics fought stiff competition to book their reward – free lab space at the Babraham Research Campus as well as unparalleled access to experts, mentors and investors, in addition to a cash prize of £10,000.

The program started in 2018. Winners then included Kalium Diagnostics and Antiverse. The final intake started in September 2021 with a week-long in-person bootcamp. Last month, they presented their business and future plans, as well as their program experience, to an audience of [email protected] mentors, investors and strategic partners.

Creasillis CEO and Founder Zahra Jawad explained how she incorporated the company only to join [email protected], which she calls “a wonderful program for any potential entrepreneur”.

Creasallis is a creative antibody solutions company tackling bottlenecks in antibody-based therapies and has secured phase one and two funding. Its “plug and play” CreaTap technology improves the tumor penetrability of antibodies.

Zahra said: “It has opened so many doors and the friendships we have developed with the rest of the cohort have been an added bonus and we will support each other as we move forward.”

CamRegen, a University of Cambridge spin-out, is developing collagen-based medical devices to revolutionize neurosurgery by reducing the risk of infections and readmissions due to failed dura repairs. Its flexible collagen membrane is effective for wound care, hernia repair and orthopedics.

CEO Siddhartha Ghose explained how the company now has a clear business strategy as it seeks £4m seed funding.

CSO David Barrett added: “Having people who are going through the same experience and really understanding what you are going through has been a great bonding experience.

“It boosted my confidence in how to talk and think about the business.”

Speed ​​up to the Babraham 2022 cohort. LR standing: James Duboff (Medusa Pharmaceuticals), Peter Sarkies (Medusa Pharmaceuticals), David Barrett (CamRegen) and Zahra Jawad (Creasalis).  Seated LR: Pedro Correa de Sampaio (Neobe Therapeutics), Mathew Garnett (Mosaic Therapeutics) and Mariya Chhatriwala (Mosaic Therapeutics).
Speed ​​up to the Babraham 2022 cohort. LR standing: James Duboff (Medusa Pharmaceuticals), Peter Sarkies (Medusa Pharmaceuticals), David Barrett (CamRegen) and Zahra Jawad (Creasalis). Seated LR: Pedro Correa de Sampaio (Neobe Therapeutics), Mathew Garnett (Mosaic Therapeutics) and Mariya Chhatriwala (Mosaic Therapeutics).

Imperial College London spin-out Medusa Pharmaceuticals is working to tackle antimicrobial resistance by bringing existing drugs back to life. His technology has enormous potential for patients with cystic fibrosis.

CEO James Duboff said: “We want to stop people dying from drug resistance. We have found [email protected] extremely beneficial. The support and guidance is second to none.

Cancer drug discovery company Mosaic Therapeutics tackles cancers by reimagining target discovery using the power of large-scale genomics and artificial intelligence.

CEO Adrian Ibrahim explained how the company got started with £1m from Innovate UK in April 2020 and is backed by the Wellcome Sanger Institute.

He said: “It was a fantastic program and we are privileged to be part of it.”

Neobe Therapeutics leverages the toolbox of synthetic biology to engineer tumor colonizing bacteria to disrupt the immunosuppressive microenvironment of “cold” tumors and enable the use of immunotherapies as treatment.

CEO Pedro Correa of ​​Sampaio said: “Our lab has started to close, so moving to the Babraham Research Campus literally saved our business at a crucial time.”

Derek Jones, CEO of Babraham Research Campus, said: “They did a great job and were very responsive. It has been a great adventure and it is not over yet since they will all be present at the Babraham Investor Conference in May.

[email protected] is backed by AstraZeneca, Eisai, LifeArc, Mundipharma – and Kidney Research UK, who joined the team last year.

Executive Director of Development, Marc Stowell, said: “When you hear of companies that didn’t even open a bank account to get to where they are now in just five months, it’s absolutely phenomenal and demonstrates the quality of the program.

“We will do everything we can to support him.”

– Thanks to Sarah Brereton for her important contribution to this article.


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