Eisai pledges its support for the Babraham Research Campus’ Accelerate@Babraham initiative; supporting early-stage science and new life science companies within the cluster

Cambridge, 27th April 2020: The Babraham Research Campus is delighted to confirm Eisai as the latest high-profile organisation to provide financial and mentoring support for its Accelerate@Babraham initiative. The additional funding will further enhance the ability of the Babraham Research Campus to drive innovation in early science concepts and nurture new life science companies within the Cambridge cluster.

First launched in 2018, the Accelerate@Babraham initiative supports ambitious early stage life science ventures by giving access to appropriate short-term open access laboratory and office space, facilitating interaction with the academic community at the Babraham Institute and providing access to the Campus’ global network, including mentoring and business support.

Derek Jones, CEO, Babraham Bioscience Technologies, which develops and manages the Babraham Research Campus commented:Accelerate@Babraham doesn’t just focus on enabling access to laboratory facilities. We also match-make our start-ups with mentors who have experience specific to their needs and aspirations, in addition to curating a broad programme of events and activities specifically designed to progress ideas, challenge thinking and motivate these young entrepreneurs to strive for the next milestone in the development of their science. As we enter our third year we have learnt much along the way and have the evidence to prove that our approach realises results.

Our strategic partners, including Eisai, share our enthusiasm and drive to continue to evolve and improve the Accelerate@Babraham initiative year on year, with our collective aim being to support and encourage the next generation of talented individuals within the life sciences sector to succeed.”

Eisai is a leading global research-based pharmaceutical company committed to delivering innovative products in various therapeutic areas with high unmet medical needs, including oncology and neurology.  Eisai’s work prioritises patients and their families through its focus to continually improve the benefits that healthcare can provide. As a global pharmaceutical company, its mission extends to patients around the world through investment and participation in partnership-based initiatives to improve access to medicines in developing and emerging countries. 

Kazumasa Nagayama, Vice President Chief Strategy Officer, Eisai Corporation Limited, commented: “Eisai is delighted to be supporting Accelerate@Babraham, and in so doing help to nurture the next generation of medicinal innovators.  We believe that through supporting the vibrant UK innovation ecosystem, such as is being fostered by the Accelerate@Babraham initiative, we can accelerate the delivery of next-generation medicines to patients with unmet needs.  A philosophy which we further support through our venture investment business. Eisai will support Accelerate@Babraham from our Hatfield Research Laboratories and this association will complement our existing External Innovation collaborative working model.”

A key activity within the Accelerate@Babraham initiative is the annual StartUP@Babraham competition. The competition supports ideas and/or companies that are pre-seed to seed stage (below £500k investment), the core objective of which is to help create new jobs, technology and therapies and to maximise the impact of the Cambridge life science cluster, both nationally and internationally.

Via a rigorous and competitive application and selection process, up to five early stage life sciences enterprises are selected to take part in the 5-month bio-entrepreneurial programme.

Applications for the third StartUP@Babraham competition opened on March 1st; the programme itself will start in September 2020.  Given the current environment due to COVID-19 the application deadline has been extended to June 17th. Shortlisted applicants will be notified by July 1st and will be invited to pitch to our judging panel of business leaders via video or conference call in mid-July. Having spoken to all shortlisted applicants the judges will choose up to five winning finalists to be accepted onto the programme. To find out more and to apply please visit: https://www.babraham.com/accelerate-babraham/accelerate-babraham-competition-2020/

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Sarah Brereton, Director, Limewash                   
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