Significant developments for new tenants & LEP funding to support growth
Date: 24 July 2014
Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (SBC), the UK’s first open innovation bioscience campus, is pleased to report that 2014 is bringing both exciting news for a range of new tenants1, and continued progress in the development of the site. Recently launched gene editing company CRISPR Therapeutics raised $25m in a Series A round in April, while incoming tenant MRC Technology has announced an extension to an open innovation collaboration with AstraZeneca. On the infrastructure side, SBC has been allocated £3m for its expansion as part of recent Government funding to Hertfordshire.
CRISPR Therapeutics, whose Series A funding is from Versant Ventures, is focused on the development of CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology for the development of new approaches to genetic diseases. The enzyme Cas-9 can be programmed to cut DNA at specific sites, with its ease of use meaning that it has 'democratised genome editing', according to the company. Headquartered in Switzerland, CRISPR Therapeutics was assisted by UK Trade and Industry (UKTI) and the UKTI Life Sciences Investment Organisation in the selection of a UK base.
With the drug discovery activities of life sciences technology transfer company MRC Technology moving to the campus in mid-2015, planning and development is well underway. The recently announced extension of its open innovation target discovery collaboration with AstraZeneca, participation in the £3m UK Dementia Consortium, and successful humanisation of an antibody with potential in the treatment of neurodegenerative disease highlight three areas of activity for this incoming tenant. These areas are highly complementary to those of SBC and its tenants.
The £3m award to Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst for Phase 2 of its development forms part of the Government's Growth Deal with the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), announced at the beginning of July. Overall, the county has secured over £200m by 2020/21 for investment in infrastructure, business and skills.
Martino Picardo, CEO of Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, said 'With its focus on a cutting-edge new technology, we are delighted to welcome CRISPR Therapeutics to the campus. Combined with incoming tenant MRC Technology and recent joiners like Ossianix, Tokyo Electron and University College London, it highlights the calibre of the life sciences ecosystem we are developing here.'
1 For more information on SBC's vibrant tenant community please click here
For more information, please contact:
Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst
Martino Picardo, CEO +44 (0)1438 906906
Emma Palmer Foster, Strategic Communications Consultant +44 (0)7880 787185
Notes for Editors
About Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst
Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst is the UK’s first open innovation bioscience campus, pioneering a unique culture to drive early stage bioscience technology and company development, and building a thriving community. 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 former East of England Development Agency. Consisting of an Incubator, an Accelerator and a Hub, covering 60,000 sq ft of laboratory, office and networking space, the independent facility houses a range of companies, from virtual and start-up firms to those which are more established, as well as other organisations. 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. For more information, please go to www.stevenagecatalyst.com.
About Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst's stakeholders
Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst's stakeholders are GlaxoSmithKline (www.gsk.com), the Wellcome Trust (www.wellcome.ac.uk), the Department for Business,Innovation and Skills (www.bis.gov.uk), the Technology Strategy Board (www.innovateuk.org) and the former East of England Development Agency ( www.eeda.org.uk)