Acceleration Program Start Codon Launches With Funding

startcodonStart Codon, a Cambridge, England, UK-based initiative that will deliver a Life Science and Healthcare Business acceleration program, has been founded and launched with an undisclosed funding round.

Backers included:
– Cambridge Innovation Capital,
– Babraham Bioscience Technologies,
– Genentech, a member of the Roche Group,
– Dr Jonathan Milner, and
– Dr Ian Tomlinson.

Start Codon will:
– identify and recruit high potential life science and healthcare companies from across the UK and beyond,
– provide seed-funding, and
– leverage the resources of the Cambridge Cluster to reduce risk and prepare them for a Series A fundraise.

The accelerator will provide life science startups with:
– investment (up to £250K),
– a full-time dedicated team of experienced and active mentors, and
– office and lab space (located at the Milner Therapeutics Institute).

Start Codon now plans to invest in and support up to 50 start-up companies over the next 5 years.

The executive team will be led by Dr Jason Mellad, previously CEO of Cambridge Epigenetix, which he transformed into a liquid biopsy diagnostic development firm via obtaining broad and exclusive patent rights to the use of epigenetic biomarker 5hmC in cancer diagnostics and leading a Series C fundraise of c.$30m.
Mellad brings over a decade of experience in product development and commercialisation, building and managing cross-disciplinary teams, intellectual property protection and exploitation, and closing deals with strategic biotech and pharma partners.

Dr Ian Tomlinson has been appointed Chairman of the Start Codon Board. Dr Tomlinson is also Chairman of Apollo Therapeutics and the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst. He has over 25 years of experience in the life sciences sector from academic research to biotech start-up to big pharma. Tomlinson founded Domantis Limited with Sir Gregory Winter, which was acquired by GSK in 2006 for $454 million. He then served as Senior VP, Head of Worldwide Business Development and Head of Biopharm R&D at GSK.

Dr Mellad and Dr Tomlinson will be joined by Michael Anstey of Cambridge Innovation Capital, Jo Parfrey and Jonathan Milner as Directors of Start Codon.

The first cohort of 5 companies is now being recruited. Start Codon is looking for companies with disruptive innovations that will revolutionise modern healthcare and platform technologies underpinned by strong intellectual property, with a particular emphasis on novel therapeutics, diagnostics, medtech and digital health.

Enquiries from potential candidates and investors should be directed to [email protected]



Join the discussion