Funding cancer innovation in Cambridge

Start Codon joins Cancer Research UK’s Entrepreneurial Programmes Initiative.

Start Codon, a new model of life science and healthcare business accelerator, today announced 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 Cluster, to educate a multi-disciplinary 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, 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.

Dr Jason Mellad, CEO at Start Codon, said: “It is fantastic to be working with such an inspiring organisation to promote innovative oncology research in the Cambridge Cluster.

"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, commercialising their novel ideas and discoveries. We look forward to hearing from the cancer research community.”

Start Codon is a new model of life science and healthcare business accelerator, and the first in Cambridge, to provide companies with a combination of seed funding, facilities, mentoring and access to a dedicated team and network of industry leading contacts. 

Founded to identify ideas that have the potential to impact the diagnosis, prevention and/or treatment of disease, and support their path to successful Series A funding, Start Codon aims to revolutionise the way life science and healthcare innovation is commercialised by reducing risk in investment opportunities and developing companies in the Cambridge area that are built to succeed globally.

Tony Hickson, Chief Business Officer at Cancer Research UK, said: “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.”

The specialist Cancer Research UK Commercial Partnerships Team works with leading international cancer scientists and their institutes to protect intellectual property arising from their research and to establish links with commercial partners.

The team develop promising ideas into successful cancer therapeutics, software, devices, diagnostics and enabling technologies.

This helps to accelerate progress in exciting new discoveries in cancer research and bring new treatments to patients sooner.

Cancer Research UK Entrepreneurial Programme

5 Feb 2020