Promoting more cancer R&D
CAMBRIDGE, U.K. & LONDON—Start Codon, a life-sciences and healthcare business accelerator, recently announced that it has joined Cancer Research UK’s Entrepreneurial Programmes Initiative, which aims to promote the development of new business ventures within academia and encourage entrepreneurship.
Start Codon’s role will focus on the Cambridge, U.K., cluster to educate a multidisciplinary oncology research community about entrepreneurship, company formation, operations and fundraising, with the goal of supporting the development of viable start-up businesses that will address unmet medical needs.
Cancer Research UK, which touts itself as the world’s largest independent funder of cancer research, has established the initiative to bridge the gap between medical research advancements and the translation of research findings into clinical practice by providing oncology researchers with the skills, infrastructure and support needed to accelerate the progression of their ideas and discoveries into products that will improve the lives of cancer patients. It is designed primarily to help PhD students, postdocs and junior group leaders; however, all researchers interested in fighting cancer are encouraged to get involved, regardless of their career stage or discipline.
Says the Cancer Research UK website of the initiative, “We've launched a program to develop and nurture an entrepreneurial culture amongst cancer researchers in the UK. Our ambition is for three out of four patients diagnosed with cancer to survive the disease by 2034. To achieve this, we're supporting researchers to accelerate the translation of their ideas and discoveries into products that will improve the lives of cancer patients. Our entrepreneurial program will show you how to build a business, connect you to a network of like-minded people, and help you find the right advice and support when you need it.”
The program is conducting its efforts in large part through business accelerators like the one with Start Codon (but also with Panacea Innovation and Deep Science Ventures previously), innovation summits and innovation competitions.
“It is fantastic to be working with such an inspiring organization to promote innovative oncology research in the Cambridge Cluster,” said Dr. Jason Mellad, CEO at Start Codon. “At Start Codon, we are committed to empowering science entrepreneurs by providing them with a launchpad in which they can take their first significant step into developing and, ultimately, commercializing their novel ideas and discoveries. We look forward to hearing from the cancer research community.”
Added Tony Hickson, chief business officer at Cancer Research UK: “This partnership with Start Codon is an important step in our work to establish a thriving entrepreneurial community in cancer research. By working with business accelerators, we hope to address the current translation gap and help accelerate more promising ideas into the clinic and to people with cancer.”
In other fairly recent Start Codon partnering news from the end of 2019, the company noted that it had teamed up with One Nucleus, a membership organization for life-science and healthcare companies. Under the terms of the agreement, One Nucleus will support and profile the life-science and healthcare startups participating in the Start Codon accelerator program.
“Like Start Codon, One Nucleus is committed to playing an active and supportive role in enabling the success of the UK life-science cluster, particularly that in the East of England and London,” commented Mellad. “Having One Nucleus membership benefits will be extremely valuable to our cohort, particularly for developing a network of industry-leading contacts.”