Cambridge UK healthcare accelerator Start Codon has revealed its first cohort of early stage businesses destined for life science stardom.

Article by Tony Quested | Business Weekly

The organisation aims to minimise risk and translate early stage research into successful startups ready for funding and partnership.

It has worked closely with four exciting Cambridge life science and healthcare companies that were enrolled into the programme in February this year.

Each of the quartet appears to have outstanding credentials to push on to success. They are:-

  • Enhanc3D Genomics, a functional genomics spin-out of the Babraham Institute, whose platform technology links non-coding sequence variants to their target genes in order to identify novel therapeutic targets
  • Drishti Discoveries, a startup leveraging a proprietary gene silencing technology to develop therapies for rare inherited diseases
  • Spirea, a spin-out from the University of Cambridge, which is developing the next generation of antibody drug conjugate cancer therapeutics which carry more drug payload to tumour cells, resulting in greater efficacy, tolerability and the ability to treat more cancer patients
  • Semarion, also a University of Cambridge spin-out, which is revolutionising cell-based assays for drug discovery and life science through its proprietary SemaCyte® microcarrier platform, which leverages novel materials physics for assay miniaturisation, multiplexing, and automation

They will make their public debuts on June 26 at the Milner Therapeutics Symposium – ‘Building Collaborations to Transform Therapies’ – and July 14 during the annual OnHelix conference organised by One Nucleus. The presentations will see the companies unveiled to audiences of investors and senior pharma executives.

Start Codon plans to invest in and support up to 50 startup companies over the next five years. The accelerator is now accepting applications for its second and third cohorts of companies.

Early stage startups in the life sciences and healthcare space are invited to apply via

Dr Jason Mellad, co-founder and CEO at Start Codon, said:

We are providing life science and healthcare companies with a unique combination of funding, facilities and mentoring to support their development and success. It is exciting to be working closely with these four exciting start-up companies, helping them to successfully commercialise their novel ideas and discoveries.


Founding investors in Start Codon include Cambridge Innovation Capital, the Babraham Research Campus through Babraham Bioscience Technologies, Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, Dr Jonathan Milner and Dr Ian Tomlinson.

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 UK technology cluster that are built to succeed globally.

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