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Babraham's 9th Biotechnology Investment Forum facilitates finance opportunities for 18 companies

18th June 2012


Babraham Bioscience Technologies (BBT) recently held its ninth Biotechnology Investment Forum (BIF) at the Babraham Research Campus, bringing together 18 early-stage biomedical ventures from across the UK with more than 50 biotechnology-focused investor groups, the most ambitious BIF to date. Over 120 delegates attended the Forum, to hear cutting-edge biotech companies pitch their technology propositions for diverse innovative therapeutics or diagnostics for which they were aiming to attract funding of between £150k and £9M.


Reflecting the growth and prominence of this event on the life sciences calendar, two keynote lectures were given this year by Professor Sir John Bell, FRS, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University and one of the UK Government Life Science Champions, and also George Freeman MP, who is the Life Science Advisor to the Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science.


John Bell highlighted some of the initiatives being introduced to support the UK bioscience sector such as the establishment of the Biomedical Catalyst Fund, and proposals to accelerate market approval for innovative and breakthrough  therapies. He said, “The expansion of life sciences at the Babraham site is a perfect example of how economic growth can be driven within a cluster. The site will undoubtedly prove to be one of Europe’s leading examples of academic commercial integration within a technology cluster.”


George Freeman, MP for Mid-Norfolk and Government Adviser on Life Sciences said, “The Babraham Investment Forum is an increasingly important event in the life science calendar and this year’s is especially so. With four new early-stage venture funds recently raised, and the Government’s new Catalyst Fund for clinical proof of concept, and a spate of exits and major inward investment decisions from industry and the Government recently, the sector is enjoying a strong period. I know from my career in bio-venturing, before Parliament, what an important cluster Babraham is becoming, and it is a particular pleasure to be back at the Forum at which I was a regular attender. This year’s range of companies illustrates the breadth and depth of investment opportunities available to private and institutional investors and shows how vibrant the Eastern Region Bio-science cluster is becoming."


This year’s technologies were as diverse as ever and included ventures pioneering: diagnostics for key unmet medical needs in infection and inflammatory diseases; therapeutics to tackle neurodegenerative diseases and malignant melanoma; drugs against infectious diseases; novel anti-inflammatory compounds against asthma and Inflammatory Bowel Disease; and a regenerative medicine company whose technology addresses a significant unmet need for the treatment of chronic diseases leading to organ failure.


Eagle Genomics Limited based since 2009 in Babraham’s Bioincubator, which is currently home to 35 early-stage companies, was showcased at the forum. CEO Dr David Flanders said, “It was a very effective, well organised, and really (and potentially really, really) useful meeting: I have had several follow-on conversations.”


Orthox, a spin-out company from the University of Oxford, is developing affordable medical devices to regenerate and restore injured cartilage and bone. Dr Nick Skaer, CEO of Orthox Ltd said, “Once again BIF was professionally run, very well attended with high calibre presentations and investors. The Babraham event delivered an excellent platform to showcase our recent progress and has led to a number of promising opportunities for Orthox.”


Launched in 2006, the Forum has established itself as a key technology showcase in the calendar and proven means to encourage bioscience investment through presentation and networking opportunities for bioscience companies and investors.


Dr Steven Powell, of Gilde Healthcare Partners the Dutch based investment group commented, “The organisation, logistics and location were excellent and it was a highly efficient way of showcasing a diverse and broad range of emerging companies in a very short period of time. The ability to see so many companies in such a short period of time is particularly important for an overseas fund such as Gilde. BIF is also one of those rare conferences where you have achieved the ideal mix of corporates and investors and service providers are at a minimum.”


Derek Jones, BBT’s Chief Executive said, “We are delighted with the turnout and quality of participants, exceeding a very successful event last year, with the largest number of companies, investors and delegates in the Forum’s history. Bringing together entrepreneurs and investors through events like this is key to the life sciences industry and we hope that the Forum will have played a part in leading to the financing of early-stage bio-ventures. The event also gives us the opportunity to showcase the developments at the Babraham Research Campus to support early-stage innovation in life sciences. We are already considering next year’s event!”




Dr Claire Cockcroft   
Head, External Relations
Tel:       +44 (0)1223 496260
Fax:      +44 (0)1223 496002
Mobile:  +44 (0)7786 335978


The Babraham Institute
Babraham Research Campus
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Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd.

Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd (BBT) is responsible for the commercial development of the Babraham Research Campus.  The Babraham Research Campus is distinct in its co-location of bioscience companies with the Babraham Institute, a world-renowned research organisation.  The Campus provides companies laboratory and office space together with access to outstanding scientific facilities in an ideal geographical location at the core of the Cambridge cluster. Website:


The Babraham Institute

The Babraham Institute, which receives strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), undertakes international quality life sciences research to generate new knowledge of biological mechanisms underpinning ageing, development and the maintenance of health. The institute received £22.4M investment from BBSRC in 2010-11. The Institute’s research provides greater understanding of the biological events that underlie the normal functions of cells and the implication of failure or abnormalities in these processes. Research focuses on signalling and genome regulation, particularly the interplay between the two and how epigenetic signals can influence important physiological adaptations during the lifespan of an organism. By determining how the body reacts to dietary and environmental stimuli and manages microbial and viral interactions, we aim to improve wellbeing and healthier ageing. (



The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.

Funded by Government, and with an annual budget of around £445M, we support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

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Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd - Cambridge - United Kingdom