SBC and Kurma Life Sciences Partners Announce Collaboration to Stimulate Investment in Bioscience Companies

Stevenage, UK, and Paris, France, March 21 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, are pleased to announce that they have signed a memorandum of understanding to enable them to work together on establishing and funding new life sciences companies. It is anticipated that funding will also be available for small proof-of-concept projects.

 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, the latter 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.

Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst is a joint venture between the 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.

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