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Calculus Capital invests £2.5m in Axol Bioscience

Park occupier, Axol Bioscience (Axol) has received investment from private equity firm Calculus Capital, a leading EIS and VCT investor. The firm has invested £2.5m in Axol, a provider of stem cells produced from reprogrammed human blood and tissue cells. 

Axol supplies high quality human cells especially live human neurons, created by stem cell technology, to many of the world’s biggest and best-known pharma companies and research institutions. These cells are used for medical research, disease modelling and drug development. Axol’s impressive client list includes top global pharmaceutical and biotech companies as well as leading academic institutes, such as Harvard University, King’s College London, and Oxford and Cambridge Universities. 

The company generates stem cells from blood and tissue cells, extracted from healthy and diseased patients. These cells are able to self-renew and may be used to become any tissue in the human body.

Importantly, Axol’s unique and innovative approach to this process means that each cell line it produces for customers will be identical to the last production batch, ensuring the quality and the consistency required for research and drug development projects. Once a new cell line is developed from a healthy or diseased individual, it is added to Axol’s suite of ‘off the shelf’ products which may be purchased on their website. The combination of these properties means the stem cells supplied by Axol are hugely important for research into treatments for many serious illnesses and diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s.

Dr Yichen Shi, CEO Axol said: “The market for our products is growing rapidly, all around the world, and the funding from Calculus will help us to make the most of that opportunity through new product development and increasing our sales and marketing capabilities.”

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Cathy Mack has been appointed Director and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of patent and trademark company, TLIP Ltd (Turnbull Lynch Intellectual Property).

Entering the patent profession at 16 years old, Cathy originally worked as an office junior before working her way through the roles of patent secretary, records and formalities manager and Group Operations Manager.

In 2014, Cathy left her previous role to join TLIP Ltd as Practice Manager, a new start-up patent company set up to specialise in advising high-tech companies in Cambridge.  TLIP Ltd now operates out of Leeds, Cambridge and Dublin and is well known for original patent drafting, portfolio management and strategic IP advice for UK and overseas companies.

Managing Director and patent attorney Alex Turnbull said, “I have worked with Cathy for nearly 17 years and no one comes close to her diligence, experience and reading of commercial situations.  We are very proud of her achievements and are delighted to appoint her to the Board.  Cathy will be instrumental in expanding our client base and delivering our vision of TLIP working seamlessly across multiple offices for the benefit of our clients.  This is an appointment that will be extremely popular with our staff and clients”.

TLIP Ltd, based at Chesterford Research Park, assists clients from the very start of the innovation process; helping to establish frameworks within which ideas can flourish and be protected, through to preparing and policing intellectual property (IP) revenue streams, patents, trade mark prosecution and the registration of designs, design right and copyright.  The practice at Chesterford is particularly strong in the fields of computer science and engineering.  An experienced chemistry patent attorney joined TLIP in early 2017.

Cathy joins Alex Turnbull, Paul Lynch and John Nevard (Non-executive Director) as a full member of the Board of TLIP Ltd.

Further to Uttlesford District Council’s recent purchase of a 50% share in Chesterford Research Park - to become joint owners alongside Aviva Investors - Cllr Howard Rolfe, Leader of the Council and Cllr Julie Redfern, previously portfolio holder for economic development, visited the Park to tour the facilities of two of Chesterford’s most recent arrivals, Arecor and Evonetix.  Both organisations moved to the Park within the last year and received rate relief under the council’s discretionary business rate relief policy – a factor in their decision to locate their facilities at Chesterford.

Cllr Rolfe commented of the visit: “It was a very interesting tour and fascinating to learn more about some of the exciting work happening on the Park. These companies are doing important work and it is encouraging they have chosen Chesterford to continue their operations.

“The Park is an ideal environment for companies to grow and prosper, and it is a major player in the biotechnology, research and development cluster which is so important for the region.”

The visit was organised by INVEST Essex, Essex County Council’s Inward Investment delivery partner, which promotes the opportunities of Essex to businesses across the globe who could benefit from the county’s strategic location, proximity to London and first class transport links.  INVEST Essex works with its commercial partners to ensure that potential investors have the best service and are assisted at all points through their journey to move and set up in the UK. In the cases of Arecor and Evonetix, INVEST Essex worked with both organisations on their choice of location and introduced them to Uttlesford District Council to enable them to take advantage of the Business Development Rate Relief Scheme.

David Rooke, Location Services Director, INVEST Essex said: "We are thrilled to be assisting companies such as Arecor, Evonetix and Enplas find ideal locations from which to do their innovative and ground-breaking work.

“The opportunities for life science companies in Essex is only going to get better as more and more companies see the value of moving to the dynamic London Stansted Cambridge Corridor. We look forward to assisting the current and future companies with their business expansion in Essex."

Park occupier, Isogenica Ltd, a leader in the design and construction of innovative and highly diverse synthetic antibody libraries, today announced that Harpoon Therapeutics, a preclinical stage biotechnology company specialising in the development of multiple T-cell recruiting platforms for the treatment of cancer and other immunologic disorders, is renewing the licence and option agreement originally signed with Isogenica in June 2016.

Under the terms of the original agreement, Isogenica has granted Harpoon licences to its family of llamdA™ VHH single-domain antibody libraries for the discovery, development and commercialisation of therapeutic products derived from these libraries. Isogenica is entitled to an upfront and annual licence payments. If antibodies are advanced into development, Isogenica is entitled to further commercial upfront payments, licence fees and milestones payments.

Adam Collier, Isogenica’s Director of Commercial Development commented: “We are delighted that Harpoon, one of our earliest VHH library licensees, has made the decision to renew this licence and option agreement. Isogenica sees this as further validation of the library in a truly operational setting.  With our unique synthetic antibody libraries and leading biopharmaceutical discovery technologies, Isogenica is uniquely positioned to create significant value and opportunities for our partners”.   

Isogenica is a synthetic biology company focusing on the design and build of diverse antibody libraries for use in biopharmaceuticals. Find out more here. 

Local authority invests in prestigious development to become joint owners alongside Aviva Investors

Uttlesford District Council is pleased to announce a new partnership with Aviva Investors following the purchase of a 50 per cent share in Chesterford Research Park.

The £45 million acquisition, which will see the council become joint owners of the Park alongside Aviva Investors, forms part of the council’s long-term plan to realise a portfolio of commercial investments, within the district, capable of generating stable income into the future.

As funding from central government diminishes, Uttlesford, like other councils across the UK, is seeking alternative routes through which to generate long-term income in order to continue to provide value for money services to residents, businesses and communities, as well as decrease its reliance on central funding.

As one of the most prestigious commercial assets in the district, Chesterford Research Park offers both an immediate stable income stream as well as growth potential.

To fund the project, the council is using its own reserves along with a mix of loans from other local authorities, the government and private funders.The arrangement will generate an initial yield of 5.6 per cent per annum for the council rising to 6.3 per cent by year five.

This follows a lengthy and robust process of due diligence by the internationally renowned commercial agents Cushman and Wakefield and the international law firm Hogan Lovells.

The council’s interests at Chesterford will be represented and managed by Aspire (CRP) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Uttlesford District Council set up to manage this latest investment. A newly formed board of representatives from Aviva Investors and Aspire (CRP) Ltd will meet quarterly to report on current activity and future development plans. Aviva Investors will retain the asset management role at the Park. CBRE acted for Aviva Investors in the 50% sale of the Park to Uttlesford District Council.

To view the full release please click here.

Park occupier Isomerase have been awarded the Queen's Award for Enterprise in International Trade. The Queen’s Award is the most prestigious corporate achievement that any UK business can attain and is a seal of approval for outstanding performance.

The company operates a dual business model offering fee-for-service contract research to global pharma partners, reinvesting the profits from this activity into the development of a proprietary suite of novel drug discovery technologies which have the potential to deliver a new generation of medicines for the treatment of cancer and infectious disease. 

Dr Matt Gregory (CEO) and Dr Steven Moss (CTO) co-founded and have managed the company from its formation in 2012 to its current position. The company's overseas sales have grown by over 600% during the last three years with strong relationships built with companies across the globe. It employs over 20 highly skilled staff.  The team at Isomerase works with partners to help them discover and develop Microbial Natural Products.

Dr Matt Gregory stated “The Queen’s Award reflects the exceptional science we do and our commitment to innovation, investment in UK science and in global collaborations.”

Click here to find out more about Isomerase.

 

 

Evonetix, a spin out company from Cambridge Consultants Ltd, has chosen Chesterford as the location from which to continue to grow. The Start-up developing and commercialising a new approach to the synthesis of DNA has taken two suites in Science Village.

Evonetix was founded in late 2015 with the support of Cambridge Consultants Ltd (CCL) and the entrepreneur and co-founder of Amadeus Capital Partners, Hermann Hauser. The company is developing a novel method of manufacturing DNA molecules, using a microchip-based array. The resulting economies of scale mean that Evonetix’ technology will be more economical and flexible than the currently available methods, as well as being more comprehensive in its output. Given that DNA is the raw material for the fast-emerging and exciting field of synthetic biology, economical and flexible manufacture is critical.

Nick McCook, CEO, Evonetix commented of the move: “I am personally delighted to be back at Chesterford, having been CEO at Solexa; pioneers of next-generation sequencing and a previous occupier at the Park that eventually went on to become part of Illumina.  Our CSO, Joe Brennan, was also part of the Solexa team and we have enjoyed a long and successful association with Chesterford and one which we look forward to continuing as we develop Evonetix.”

Park occupier, Isogenica Ltd, a leader in the design and construction of innovative and highly diverse synthetic antibody libraries, today announced a new licensing deal with a top-25 global pharmaceutical company which specialises in immunology, oncology and immuno-oncology biopharmaceuticals. 

Under the terms of the agreement, Isogenica has granted its licensee licences to its family of llamdA™ VHH single-domain antibody libraries for the discovery, development and commercialisation of therapeutic products derived from these libraries. Isogenica is entitled to an upfront and annual licence payments. If antibodies are advanced into development, Isogenica is entitled to further commercial upfront, licence and downstream payments.

Adam Collier, Isogenica’s Director of Commercial Development commented: “This is a very significant deal for Isogenica, which further validates and endorses the company’s highly diverse family of synthetic camelid single-domain antibody (VHH) libraries as an excellent starting point for therapeutic antibody discovery.  We look forward to enabling existing and new partners to find novel, developable therapeutic candidates quickly and efficiently”.

View the full release via Isogenica's website here.

CellCentric has developed a potent, selective, orally bioavailable small molecule inhibitor of p300/CBP. These targets are key regulators of cancer cells, and specifically play a critical role in the progression of the aggressive form of prostate cancer. Key pre-clinical efficacy data on CellCentric’s compound CCS1477 is presented today at GU-ASCO: 2017 Genitourinary Cancer Symposium, Orlando. Castrate resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) remains a significant unmet need, despite recent advances including the adoption of new agents such as Enzalutamide and Abiraterone. CRPC is driven by functional androgen receptor (AR) proteins, and modified AR-splice variants that emerge (2).

View CellCentric's GU-ASCO poster 2017 here.  In addition, find out more by clicking here.

(2)  Antonarakis et al., (2014) NEJM, 371, 1028-38.

Science Village based Isogenica Ltd, a leader in the design and construction of innovative and highly diverse synthetic antibody libraries, today announced a new licensing deal with Maverick Therapeutics, a private start-up biotechnology company utilising a proprietary T-cell engagement format for the development of novel T-cell redirection therapies.

Under the terms of the agreement, Isogenica has granted licences to its family of llamdA ™ VHH single-domain antibody libraries for the discovery, development and commercialisation of therapeutic products derived from these libraries. Isogenica is entitled to an upfront and annual licence payments. If antibodies are advanced into development, Isogenica is entitled to further commercial upfront and milestone payments.

Isogenica is a synthetic biology company focusing on the design and build of diverse antibody libraries for use in biopharmaceuticals. Partners can access an advanced camelid single-domain antibody library (llamdA ™) and will soon be able to access a state-of-the-art, fully synthetic and highly diverse human Fab library.  The company uses its proprietary Colibra™ library technology to ensure that the constructs very accurately reflect its advanced library designs. Libraries can be screened in various formats, including phage and CIS-Display, a proprietary in vitro display technology which maintains the high diversity of the llamdA™ libraries through the discovery process.

Maverick, an MPM Capital portfolio company, was founded in 2016. On January 17, 2017, Maverick Therapeutics Inc., a spin-out from Harpoon Therapeutics, Inc., and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TSE:4502) announced that they have entered an exclusive partnership to develop Maverick’s T-cell engagement platform created specifically to improve the utility of T-cell redirection therapy for the treatment of cancer. Maverick’s novel T-cell engagement format has the potential to eliminate the toxicity challenges inherent in the use of T-cell redirection therapy due to the expression of target antigen on normal tissue. Maverick’s therapeutic antibodies are designed to be inactive upon administration but fully active in the tumor microenvironment.

  • Arecor awarded £1.05M from Innovate UK to support the advancement of its diabetes glucagon product towards clinical trials.
  • Prototype liquid glucagon product shows stability and commercial viability.
  • Partnership with Innovate UK to accelerate pre-clinical asset towards proof-of-concept & first-in-human trials.

Arecor Ltd (“the Company”), a UK-based leading formulation technology company, focussed on developing superior biopharmaceuticals via the innovative reformulation of proteins and peptides enabling the improved treatment of diabetes and other conditions, is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a £1.05 million grant from InnovateUK* to advance the Company's proprietary stable liquid glucagon product, towards proof-of-concept Phase 1 clinical trials.**

Arecor's liquid glucagon is an important addition to its speciality diabetes pipeline and will offer a vastly superior glucagon rescue treatment for severe hypoglycaemia and may have further applications in enabling dual hormone artificial pancreas systems. Glucagon is a life-saving emergency treatment used to treat dangerously low blood glucose levels known as severe hypoglycaemia. Unfortunately, due to its low solubility and stability in liquid solution, Glucagon is currently only available as a powder for reconstitution, which in this highly stressful situation, can lead to handling errors, and critically, delayed administration. Utilising its formulation technology, Arecor has developed a stable liquid glucagon product that enables a ready-to-inject version of the product to be given to people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

With support from InnovateUK, Arecor intends to accelerate the progression of this asset through its pre-clinical development and IND enabling studies. Once this study has completed, Arecor will be ready to move into Phase 1 human trials.

Dr Sarah Howell, CEO of Arecor Limited, commented:
"We are delighted to receive this prestigious award from Innovate UK which will support the acceleration of our proprietary glucagon rescue treatment towards the clinic and first-in-human Phase 1 trials. Using Arecor’s technology, we have been able to solve the very significant and elusive formulation challenge of developing a stable liquid glucagon product that will enable us to deliver a ready-to-use pen to ‘rescue’ a hypo more quickly and effectively. From our work with the JDRF and patient groups, we are confident that our development of a ready-to-inject liquid rescue glucagon solution has the potential to significantly improve and simplify the administration of this life saving treatment and reduce a major source of anxiety for those living with type 1 and 2 diabetes".

 

 * Innovate UK is the UK’S innovation agency seeking to find and drive science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy and to work with companies to de-risk, enable and support innovation. Its funding programme is awarded in a competitive process. Since 2007 InnovateUK has committed over £1.8 billion to innovation, matched by a similar amount in partner and business funding.

**Arecor were awarded Early Stage funding in the Biomedical Catalyst 2016 competition. The results of this competition have been published on the web https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/innovate-uk-funding-competitionwinners-2016"

The Park is delighted to welcome Enplas. The Cambridge Enplas Life Science Laboratory, part of Enplas EU Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Enplas Corporation have taken a five-year lease within the Park’s Science Village.

Pioneers in engineering plastics since 1962, the Enplas Corporation has an annual turnover of $400M and employs over 4,000 people across seven manufacturing sites and multiple offices worldwide.  Having developed and manufactured leading edge components for the automotive, telecommunications and optical (LED) industries, Enplas moved into the life science industry 15 years ago to rise to the challenge of applying microfabrication technologies to the design and manufacture of precision components for the sector. Enplas’ proprietary ultra-precise microfabrication and moulding technologies and unrivalled development capabilities have enabled the organisation to develop and mass produce various life science products, including high-precision, high performance microfluidic chips for biology applications such as sample prep, fluid control, biochemical reaction/cell culture and droplet generation.

By understanding the needs of the market, particularly in the area of cancer diagnostics and screening, the Cambridge Enplas Life Science Laboratory will continue to pursue technological innovation to maximise the potential of plastic to establish new cornerstones for the future development of the life sciences. 

Output from the Enplas laboratory at Chesterford is key to the overall Enplas Corporation and it’s work will underpin Enplas businesses in the US, Asia and Europe.

Enplas chose Chesterford as the location for its R&D laboratory to leverage the strong research and development connections abundant in and around Cambridge and throughout the Cambridge, Oxford, London triangle; within which Enplas already have a number of collaborative academic and commercial projects in place.

Jim Ballesty, General Manager commented of the move to Chesterford: “We viewed a number of laboratory spaces during our search but Chesterford stood out due to its exceptional combination of plug-and-play laboratory facilities and central amenities within The Nucleus.  The nature of our projects will fuel our growth and at Chesterford we have a laboratory set up that will enable that growth without the need to move.

“Existing Park occupiers were also a significant attraction to us. Our model is very much a collaborative one and we hope to build mutually beneficial relationships with fellow life science organisations at the Park as we develop and grow.”

 

Local data communications company moves to Chesterford to fuel future growth

We are delighted to confirm that CamNet Data Communications has taken office space within Garden Cottage – ideal accommodation for smaller companies within the larger Park environment.

CamNet Data Communications are experienced installers of Cat5e, Cat6 and Cat6a cabling and service companies of all sizes, ranging from those with minimal personnel up to large company headquarters comprising hundreds of users.  All installations are carried out as per official Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) standards and warranted by the manufacturers for up to 25 years.  In addition to data cabling, CamNet Data Communications are also certified installers of PAXTON door access and AXIS CCTV systems.  The organisation also installs, terminates and tests fibre optic cabling as well as WiFi systems.

James Whitby, Managing Director of CamNet Data Communications commented of the move: “Chesterford Research Park is ideally located from our perspective, giving us convenient access to the M11 and Cambridge city.  The Park’s communal facilities are excellent and having a restaurant and health and fitness centre on site are a definite plus. We are currently a team of four but I hope that our move to Chesterford will accelerate additional growth for us.”

Chesterford Research Park’s low-density development, set within 250 acres of impressive parkland, offers not only ultra modern and energy efficient laboratory and office space, but also central ‘hub’ facilities within The Nucleus building - which includes a restaurant, café bar, health and fitness centre and meeting and conferencing space. CamNet Data Communications join UKSPA (the UK Science Park Association) and Xenovium in Garden Cottage and are surrounded by major players such as AstraZeneca, Illumina Inc and Domainex within the wider Park environment, all of whom have chosen Chesterford as the base from which to advance their research and development.

 

Chesterford Research Park attracts leader in formulation technology innovation, Arecor, to the Park

Chesterford Research Park is delighted to confirm that Arecor will be moving to the Park in October this year. The biopharmaceutical company is taking a five year lease within an existing 5,300 sq ft Park building and will move in after refurbishment works are complete.

Arecor is a leader in developing superior biopharmaceuticals through the application of its innovative formulation technology platform, Arestat™.  Arecor is leveraging Arestat™ to develop a portfolio of proprietary products to enable improved treatments for diabetes care via the innovative reformulation of approved proteins and peptides.  These products will enable next-generation technology and, most importantly, improve quality of life for those with diabetes.

Next-generation device technology such as wearable, continuous administration patch pumps and implants are critical future developments for people living with diabetes. By improving glycemic control and compliance, adverse states such as hypoglycaemia and diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) can be reduced, as can overall complications and mortality.  Arecor is in a unique position to leverage its innovative formulation approach to enable significant advancements in this area by delivering products such as:

  • highly concentrated formulations of insulin to enable the miniaturisation of wearable devices,
  • ultra-rapid acting insulins which will offer a vastly superior meal-time insulin to those currently available on the market, both from a convenience (dosing at or after meal-time) and glycemic control perspective and;
  • a ready-to-use emergency glucagon pen to treat severe hypoglycaemia, which is currently a critical unmet need.   

In addition to its internal product portfolio, Arecor partners with leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies to deliver superior reformulations of their proprietary products, which would otherwise not be possible using conventional formulation science.  Many proteins and peptides are too unstable in liquid form to develop ready-to-use drugs, or are unstable at high concentrations.  Arecor has overcome these challenges to significantly enhance the delivery of therapeutic medicines to patients.

Dr Sarah Howell, CEO, Arecor commented of the move: “Arecor is experiencing significant growth and we required enhanced facilities that could meet our expansion requirements, both today and well into the future. We selected Chesterford because of the quality of innovative companies already located here, the Park’s location within the Cambridge cluster and the excellent central facilities.  Attracting top talent as we continue to grow is key to our future success and we feel that Chesterford is the ideal location from which we can continue to forge ahead.”

As Arecor’s proprietary diabetes product moves into clinical trials and the organisation’s strategic partnerships with major pharmaceutical and biotech companies continue to expand, the organisation expects to experience significant growth. Chesterford’s range of accommodation options ideally cater for occupier growth – from managed office space and individual R&D suites to bespoke build pre-lets, there are multiple options available to occupiers as their requirements change and grow.

INVEST Essex, Essex County Council’s inward investment team, worked with Arecor on their choice of site and introduced them to Uttlesford District Council who were able to provide support to Arecor with their Business Development Rate Relief Scheme.

Cllr Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader of Essex County Council, said: “Essex is home to a great many innovative, cutting edge companies and we are pleased to welcome Arecor to the county. INVEST Essex, our inward investment team at Essex County Council, has been instrumental in helping the company with their choice of site and supporting them in making this major investment in Essex.

“This is the latest investment in the county by a high-tech firm and one that we welcome. Essex means business and it is pleasing to see more and more companies recognise this and invest in the county.”

 

Provider of integrated drug discovery services benefits from enhanced space within the Churchill Building. 

Established in 2001, Domainex is a privately-owned, rapidly-growing drug research company with expertise in expression of disease target proteins, hit discovery, hit-to-lead identification and lead optimisation. It has an established reputation for its high-quality, innovative approach and has a sustained track record of delivering preclinical drug candidates. Domainex has a wide range of UK and international clients including biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, and several leading academic groups.

To facilitate expansion across all aspects of its drug research service business, including the biology, analytical and medicinal chemistry departments, Domainex signed a long-term lease with Aviva Investors in October 2015 to provide it with the facilities and infrastructure required to support the company’s growth.  Following a period of refurbishment, Domainex transitioned into its new facility, the Churchill Building, in August.

The existing 20,000 sq ft building has been refurbished to meet Domainex’s immediate and future requirements for chemistry and biology laboratory space.  Works included the addition of a new laboratory access corridor, new windows throughout and a re-organisation of the internal layouts plus the addition of a new reception lobby.  The external aesthetics of the building were also enhanced via the re-cladding of the roof. The building gives Domainex more than a two-fold increase in laboratory space, allowing the company to start to recruit the additional experienced and ambitious medicinal chemists, assay biologists, analytical chemists and protein scientists required to fuel its continued growth.

Trevor Perrior, Chief Scientific Officer of Domainex commented of the move: “The Domainex service business has been growing rapidly over several years, and it was obvious that we needed to find new premises that would allow scope for that expansion to continue, and also provide a first-class working environment for our team.  Our new laboratories at Chesterford are exactly what we were looking for, and have given us the space we need to expand across all departments.  We anticipate that the high-quality of our new building and the excellent on-site facilities will help us to attract the new staff we now want to recruit.”

The agreement aims to improve, standardise and more accurately predict the risk of human clinical proarrhythmias. Metrion will use Axol's human iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes to carry out ion channel screening, cardiac safety testing and translational phenotypic assays. This is in accordance with the FDA's Comprehensive in vitro Proarrhythmia Assay (CiPA) initiative, which aims to revise cardiac safety testing regulations.

Please click here for the full release.

Located within the Mansion House at Chesterford Research Park, patent attorneys TLIP assist clients from the very start of the innovation process; helping to establish frameworks within which ideas can flourish and be protected, through to preparing and policing intellectual property (IP) revenue streams, trade mark prosecution, the registration of designs and copyright. To date, the practice at Chesterford has been particularly strong in the fields of computer science and engineering and now adds pharma, materials and medical device expertise to the team with the appointment of Mat Leese.

Mat joins TLIP as a UK and European Patent Attorney and has particular expertise in securing additional terms of protection for therapeutic products under the European Supplementary Protection Certificate* (SPC) system. SPCs were introduced to compensate for the long development time needed to get human, veterinary and plant protection products to market by extending the duration of certain rights associated with patents in these areas. As well as conventional SPC filing programmes, Mat has experience in ‘non-standard’ cases concerning conjugates and combination products.

Mat commented of his move to TLIP: “Cambridge is a great place to be working in IP due to the creative, research intensive culture that exists in the city, particularly when it comes to the commercialisation of research from the university and in companies from start-ups to multi-nationals.  TLIP’s business is built on providing a tailored IP solution to clients of any size, helping them protect their inventions and realise their commercial goals. Chesterford provides an excellent working environment and allows us to easily get into and around the city to deliver a personal service to our clients.”

Prior to joining the patent profession, Mat worked as a medicinal chemist leading a team in a start-up biotech company developing new drugs for the treatment of cancer and endocrine diseases. The lifecycle of the company encompassed raising support through licencing, venture capital fundraising and an eventual buyout, providing Mat with an inventor’s eye perspective of IP and its role in realising value from innovation.

The Park is delighted to confirm that the mathematical modeling team of RPC Consulting has expanded its presence at Chesterford, moving from the Garden Cottage to Suites 4 and 5 within the Mansion House.

RPC Consulting specialise in assisting clients within the insurance sector with risk management, drawing on their team of actuaries, accountants, MBAs and PhDs to deliver solutions to the unique challenges faced by this industry.  In addition to its strong technical and management consulting insurance specialism, RPC Consulting also utilises bespoke, world-class mathematical modelling software, Tyche.  The company’s software team, who support and develop Tyche, are based at Chesterford Research Park.

Tyche isa cutting-edge Monte Carlo simulator, with ‘supercomputer’ performance capabilities. Itis ideally suited to handle a wide range of modelling, statistical and machine-learning problems accurately and efficiently. Tyche spectacularly reduces run times: calculations that might have previously needed to run overnight can, with Tyche, be run in minutes or in some cases seconds. The usability of Tyche furthermore allows clients to build complex models in a fraction of the time previously required, enabling them to be used in the day-to-day running of client businesses.

Tyche’s ground-breaking technologies harness the latest advances in hardware and numerical algorithms to help clients step up to the ever-changing demands of the regulatory and reporting environments. Whether modeling capital, pricing risk (personal and commercial) or reserving, Tyche’s intuitive and responsive approach brings teams together in an agile framework to reliably deliver accurate results.

Tyche was originally developed by Mark Sinclair-McGarvie, a founding partner of Marriott Sinclair, with Peter Marriott and then Alun Marriott leading the commercial side of the business. Founded in 2012, Marriott Sinclair experienced significant success with the software and the decision was taken in July 2015 to sell the company to RPC Consulting to secure the future development of the software and growth of the team.

Congratulations to Dr Helen Lee of DRW - based at Science Village here at the Park - who has been awarded the European Inventor Award by the European Patent Office.  Helen's invention of robust and cost-effective diagnostic kits for infectious diseases such as HIV in resource-poor regions has come out on top, winning 64% of the 56,700 votes cast on-line.

Read more about the award and DRW's work here:

Congratulations Helen and team from all of us here at Chesterford Research Park!

Congratulations to Michael Buchallet, who finished third in his age group at the European Duathlon (sprint) Championships in Germany last Saturday!

Michael trains at the Nucleus health and fitness centre here at the Park - particularly during the winter months when the weather is less conducive to outside training.

His next main event will be the World Championships in Spain at the beginning of June. 

Joined by the Mayor of Saffron Walden, Park occupiers, staff and guests help to plant a new poppy and wildflower meadow at Chesterford Research Park The Royal British Legion provides lifelong support for the Armed Forces Community – serving men and women, veterans and their families.

To celebrate and support the work of the Legion and to act as a constant reminder of all those that have, and continue to serve to protect our freedom, Chesterford Research Park today began the planting of 2,000 poppies along the main drive of the Park. Once established the poppies and wildflowers will create a beautiful welcome to all that visit the Park.

Proceedings began at midday in The Nucleus – the Park’s central facilities building – with short addresses from the Mayor of Saffron Walden, Heather Asker, Royal British Legion representative Tony Twigger and Tim Howell, Managing Director, Mitie, the current contractors for the Park’s grounds and landscaping work.

The 60 plus guests then moved outside to begin the planting, with the Mayor planting the first poppy plug.

Mayor Heather Asker commented of the initiative: “I am delighted to have been invited to join in the proceedings today. The Royal British Legion is very close to our hearts and this permanent memorial is a super way to honour our service men and women and remember the work they do for us.” 

Chesterford occupier, Axol Bioscience, specialists in the use of stem cell technology to manufacture disease relevant cell based assay systems for the drug discovery industry, today announced Paul Andrews as their Scientific Advisory Board Member.

Dr Andrews is an expert in the industrial application of stem cells in phenotypic screening, having previously used this platform to identify agents that steer cell fate. He will aid Axol in ensuring its commercially available human primary and induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived cells continue to enable the development of pathophysiologically-relevant systems for industrial and academic research.

Paul Andrews, BSc PhD FRSB is Director of Operations at the National Phenotypic Screening Centre (NPSC), a new open collaborative venture based at the Universities of Dundee, Oxford and Edinburgh. Dr Andrews also sits on the editorial board for Current Research in Drug Discovery and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology. He has been a Trustee of the British Society of Cell Biology, Advisory Board Member of the Scottish Stem Cell Network and was team leader in Cellartis/Cellectis Stem Cells. Prior to this he was team leader for the Stem Cell Technology Programme in the Drug Discovery Unit at The University of Dundee and has over 20 years of postdoctoral research experience in cell and molecular biology.

Park occupiers, Axol Bioscience, who specialise in the use of stem cell technology to manufacture disease relevant cell based assay systems for the drug discovery industry, have announced that Steve Rees of AstraZeneca will join their Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). Dr Rees will be attending the fifth annual Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) Conference and Exhibition in San Diego, CA from 23-27 January 2016, where Axol will showcase the newest addition to its growing range of primary and induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived cells for drug discovery through several poster presentations and an exhibitor tutorial.

Dr Yichen Shi, CEO, Axol Bioscience said: "With Dr Rees as a member of Axol’s SAB, we look forward to collaborating on future projects to develop solutions that could help us enhance our ability to discover drugs in future."

The stem cell disease model specialists join Chesterford’s Science Village community, taking space within the Park’s prestigious, ‘plug and play’ laboratory accommodation

Chesterford Research Park is delighted to announce Axol’s arrival at the Park. Previously based at Babraham Research Campus, Axol’s move to Chesterford has been necessitated by the organic growth of its business, as a result of the expansion of its product lines and the resulting uptake of its products by customers, making an expansion of its R&D and production facilities necessary.

Axol specialises in the use of stem cell technology to produce highly validated, human cells and critical reagents such as media and growth supplements. The organisation’s expertise includes the reprogramming of cells to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and the differentiation of these into various cell types. iPSCs propagate indefinitely, as well as give rise to every other cell type in the body (such as neurons, heart, and liver cells) making them a single source of cells that could be used to replace those lost to disease or damage – particularly interesting from a regenerative medicine perspective. The differentiated cells are derived from healthy donors and patients of specific disease backgrounds. As well as working with its own cells, Axol also undertakes reprogramming (where necessary) and differentiation of primary or iPSC cells provided by its pharmaceutical industry customers – thereby freeing up their time to focus on research.

In addition, Axol’s in-house R&D team work to improve existing media, coating solutions and reagents as well as innovate new products for human cell culture, resulting in an expansion of Axol’s product line and the creation of a portfolio of products that will facilitate and enhance the further development of it’s customers life-changing research.

Yichen Shi, Chief Executive Officer, Axol commented of the move: “Chesterford Research Park is ideally positioned to offer us not only the space we need now, but also the opportunity for expansion in the future which is incredibly important for us. We looked at a variety of options but Chesterford stood out due to its location within the cluster, convenient access to major road, rail and air routes and proximity to some of the biggest pharmaceutical players in the industry.  We are delighted to be joining the Park community.”

The Science Village at Chesterford Research Park is an ideal HQ for both established and start-up companies which require flexible, high quality and prestigious self-contained accommodation.  The innovative, energy efficient building offers individual R&D suites ranging from 1,515 sq ft to 1,993 sq ft, plus excellent flexibility by combining spaces for larger occupation.  The fully fitted accommodation - served by high-speed data connectivity and Cat 6 cabling - is also supported by a back up generator. Each suite has demountable benching; two sinks and two fume hoods (with space for a third if required), housed within their own dedicated room.

For further information regarding occupancy options please contact the joint agents for Chesterford Research Park – William Clarke at Savills (01223) 347294 or Michael Jones at Dodson Jones (01223) 358114.

Over 70 top academics from Poland visited the Park as part of nine week ‘Top 500 Innovators’ programme

Chesterford Research Park played host to 75 top Polish academics over the summer as part of the International Outreach Programme (IOP) run by Cambridge Enterprise, the commercialisation arm of the University of Cambridge. The nine week ‘Top 500 Innovators’ training programme is part of a sustained effort by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education to bridge the gap between academia and business in Poland.

The objective of the Cambridge Enterprise programme is to provide participants with the specific skill sets required to manage cooperative research projects in Poland and focuses on innovation, intellectual property and technology transfer, the commercialisation of research, entrepreneurship and leadership. The over-arching aim being to bring high-technology products to market. Chesterford Research Park was asked to host the delegation to allow participants to experience first hand a superb example of a modern, successful science park.

The delegation’s programme at Chesterford included presentations from the Park’s joint agents, Savills and Dodson Jones regarding the evolution of the Park to date and future development plans. The audience then heard from Jim Duvall at UKSPA who gave context to the wider UK science and innovation park environment. Aleksandra Wlodek, Synthetic Scientist at Isomerase Therapeutics, presented Chesterford Research Park through the eyes of a tenant. Isomerase Therapeutics first arrived at the Park in 2013 and subsequently expanded its presence in October 2014, taking an additional suite within Science Village.  A bus tour of the Park followed the presentations, during which delegates were able to visit the Science Village building, Chesterford’s multi-suite, self-contained laboratory accommodation; a very relevant example of flexible, innovative accommodation for start-ups as well as more established life science companies.

Alex Smeets from Cambridge Enterprise, who accompanied one group of delegates, said of the visit: "During the course of the Top 500 Programme in Cambridge, our Polish visitors have been learning about the many different aspects of research commercialisation. Science parks and innovation centres play a major role in that process, so we were keen for them to visit a modern, successful science park such as Chesterford Research Park, which allowed them to meet with UKSPA in order to introduce them to the latest thinking in science park development and management."

Chesterford’s 250-acre, low density development offers biotechnology and pharmaceutical R&D companies modern, dynamic and flexible facilities – from prestigious HQ buildings to the fully fitted laboratory spaces within Science Village and office facilities of the Mansion House.  The diversity of buildings available has been specifically designed to attract science and technology companies and made Chesterford the ideal showcase as one of the regions most advanced R&D locations.

Oncologica, the Diagnostic Services and Contract Research Organisation take a further suite within The Science Village, Chesterford’s high quality, prestigious self-contained accommodation.

Chesterford Research Park is delighted to announce Oncologica’s expansion within the Science Village building on the Park, doubling their space via the occupation of an adjoining suite.

Oncologica provides precision oncology testing, via its revolutionary targeted sequencing platform, Oncofocus, to address the growing demand for personalised molecular profiling of cancer patients for targeted therapies. Utilising this state-of-the-art next generation semi-conductor sequencing technology (NGS), Oncologica’s scientists and clinicians are able to rapidly detect actionable mutations in patients’ tumour samples to precisely match these alterations with new generation targeted therapies.

Oncofocus is the world’s most comprehensive precision oncology test covering all solid tumour types, detecting thousands of genetic variants across the most clinically relevant cancer driver genes linked to over 270 targeted therapies. Intelligent design is driven by Oncologica’s bioinformatics platform linked to the world’s largest curated compendium of cancer genomic information, which includes content aligned to approved therapies, current practice guidelines and open clinical trials. The Oncofocus Reporter analyses the output from Oncofocus assay platform to identify and prioritise potential treatment strategies.

Oncologica is the first laboratory in Europe to offer this type of personalised oncology service, the major advantages of which include:

  • A dramatic reduction in the cost of molecular profiling and the time required to analyse the major cancer driver genes as this can be undertaken in a single workflow.
  • Reduction in the number of tests that cancer patients have to endure.
  • Prevention of unwarranted prescribing of expensive targeted therapies to patients unlikely to benefit from them.

Demand for this technology from the pharmaceutical industry, healthcare organisations and private individuals stimulated the requirement for more space at Chesterford.

Gareth Williams, Co-Founder and Director of Oncologica commented of the expansion: The Oncofocus test now allows, for the first time, the direct linkage of a patient’s molecular profile to a wide portfolio of targeted therapies. The expansion of our facilities will allow us to deliver this revolutionary new technology to cancer patients Europe-wide helping to vastly improve treatment outcomes for people affected by this debilitating disease.”

Marco Loddo, Co-Founder and Director added: This is a very exciting era for personalised oncology. The Oncofocus test is a quantum step forward in making precision oncology a reality by delivering the right therapy to the right patient at the right time. The expansion of our laboratory facilities will further enable us to deliver this revolutionary technology for the benefit of patients worldwide.”

In addition to its personalised oncology service, Oncologica also offers molecular pathology diagnostic services for cancer diagnosis, patient stratification and personalised medicine and utilises its extensive knowledge base in anatomical and molecular oncopathology, companion diagnostics and translational medicine to provide high quality, cost effective contract research services for the development of cancer biomarkers and molecular targeted therapies.

The Science Village at Chesterford Research Park is an ideal HQ for both established and start-up companies which require flexible, high quality and prestigious self-contained accommodation.  The innovative, energy efficient building offers individual R&D suites ranging from 1,515 sq ft to 1,993 sq ft, plus excellent flexibility by combining spaces for larger occupation.  The fully fitted accommodation - served by high-speed data connectivity and Cat 6 cabling - is also supported by a back up generator. Each suite has demountable benching; two sinks and two fume hoods (with space for a third if required), housed within their own dedicated room.

For further information regarding occupancy options please contact the joint agents for Chesterford Research Park – William Clarke at Savills (01223) 347294 or Michael Jones at Dodson Jones (01223) 358114.

Chesterford Research Park is delighted to welcome TLIP (Turnbull Lynch Intellectual Property) to the Park.  TLIP was founded in 2014, by leading attorneys from a national firm in response to the market pull towards smaller, niche, regional practices that can effectively compete with the larger London based firms.

TLIP assists clients from the very start of the innovation process; helping to establish frameworks within which ideas can flourish and be protected, through to preparing and policing intellectual property (IP) revenue streams, trade mark prosecution and the registration of designs, design right and copyright.  The practice at Chesterford is particularly strong in the fields of computer science and engineering.

Alex Turnbull, Director commented of the move:  “Chesterford is absolutely right for TLIP.  We work closely with some of the most innovative and exciting companies in Cambridge, including ARM, Xaar, Eight19 and the University of Cambridge and the Park’s proximity to the city enables us to develop close working relationships with our clients. As well as easy access, Chesterford provides us with beautiful surroundings in which to work and a highly professional Park team that have been extremely welcoming, making our transition here seamless.”

The team based at Chesterford will be further enhanced by the arrival of an experienced chemistry patent attorney later this year, bringing the total number of attorneys based at the Park to ten.  This speciality will complement the computer science and engineering team and extend the reach of TLIP’s services within the region.

Situated at the heart of the Park, The Mansion House at Chesterford offers a series of flexible office suites within the sympathetically refurbished period building.  Each suite benefits from shared kitchen and WC facilities and offers ample on-site parking for both staff and visitors.  Mansion House tenants can also take advantage of the superb central facilities available at The Nucleus, which includes a 200-seater restaurant, café bar, health and fitness centre and versatile meeting and conference facilities.

For further information regarding occupancy options please contact the joint agents for Chesterford Research Park – William Clarke at Savills (01223) 347294 or Michael Jones at Dodson Jones (01223) 358114.

There was no need for suncream at the European Sprint Duathlon Championships in Alcobendas near Madrid last Sunday!  Heavy rain made the course particularly treacherous, especially on the bike with hills and over 50 roundabouts to negotiate over the 20km.

Michael ran strongly over the first 5km before coming in to collect his bike for two laps of the difficult course. He was extremely cautious on the bike, because of the wet surface and unfortunately lost precious seconds. However, many competitors fell victim to the conditions and on the second 2.5km run, he pushed hard to make up the time lost on the bike and crossed the line in 1.03.30 placing him 15th in his age group.

Michael's focus is now on the Olympic distance (x2 sprint distance) over the next 5-6 months to get ready for the World Championships in Australia - with the aim of achieving a top 10 finish.

After a short 'rest' break Michael will be back at the Nucleus to resume training! To find out what else has been happening at the Nucleus Gym recently please view the newsletter, available by clicking here.

The Contract Research and Diagnostic Services organisation take a suite in Science Village, Chesterford’s high quality, prestigious self-contained accommodation

Chesterford Research Park is delighted to welcome Oncologica to Science Village. Oncologica provides comprehensive molecular pathology diagnostic services to address the growing demand for molecular profiling of cancer patients for targeted therapies. The organisation utilises state-of-the-art molecular tissue analytics for cancer diagnosis, patient stratification and personalised medicine. This includes high-throughput next generation sequencing platforms (NGS) and molecular probes (FISH/CISH/DDISH) for the detection of actionable mutations, fusion transcripts and copy number variations. In addition, Oncologica’s portfolio of services includes nanostring technology for clinically relevant genomic information and immunohistochemistry (IHC) protein expression profiling for protein based companion diagnostics.

Oncologica also functions as a Contract Research Organisation (CRO) supporting biomarker and drug development programmes for pharmaceutical, biotech, academic institutions and healthcare providers.  Capitalising on its extensive knowledge base in anatomical and molecular oncopathology, companion diagnostics and translational medicine, Oncologica provides high quality and cost effective contract research services to support theranostic programmes at all stages of the development pipeline, from discovery through preclinical development to clinical trials.

As well as providing diagnostic and contract research services, Oncologica also runs in-house R&D programmes focusing on the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic intervention strategies targeting the cell cycle machinery. Through these progammes Oncologica aim to become a major driver of the new generation of molecular analytics and targeted therapies in the field of oncology, the ultimate objective being to increase treatment efficacy and reduce healthcare costs.

Gareth Williams, Co-Founder of Oncologica commented of the move: “Positioned within one of the world’s leading life science clusters Chesterford was the obvious choice for us. The Park is host to leading players in the biotech and pharma sector and it’s proximity to institutes of excellence, such as the Sanger Institute - world-renowned in the field of cancer genomics - makes the location ideal from our perspective.”

Marco Loddo, Co-Founder added: “The plug and play nature of the state-of-the-art laboratory facilities at Chesterford have facilitated a very smooth transition for us.  In addition to which the Park team have been extremely accommodating, working closely with us to ensure we have the space we require during this critical stage of growth. We are delighted to be putting down roots at Chesterford.”

The Science Village at Chesterford Research Park is an ideal HQ for both established and start-up companies which need flexible, high quality and prestigious self-contained accommodation.  The innovative, energy efficient building offers individual R&D suites ranging from 1,515 sq ft to 1,993 sq ft, plus excellent flexibility by combining spaces for larger occupation.  The fully fitted accommodation - served by high-speed data connectivity and Cat 6 cabling - is also supported by a back up generator. Each suite has demountable benching; two sinks and two fume hoods (with space for a third if required), housed within their own dedicated room.

For further information regarding occupancy options please contact the joint agents for Chesterford Research Park – William Clarke at Savills (01223) 347294 or Michael Jones at Dodson Jones (01223) 358114.

Park’s health and fitness centre, situated within The Nucleus central facilities building at the heart of the Park, offers Michael training support

The Nucleus health and fitness centre has become a frequent training ground for Team GB duathlete, Michael Buchallet over the winter months. Michael, who qualified for his age group within the Great Britain team in 2013, is a local resident and approached the Park looking for support with various aspects of his training for the 2015 season.

A fairly recent convert to the duathlon discipline, Michael has made astounding progress in the last couple of years and has ambitions to take his competition to the next level in 2015 and beyond.  Firmly in his sights for 2015 is to be placed within the top 10 at both the European Triathlon Union Championships in Spain and the International Triathlon Union World Championships in Australia. Looking further ahead, he would like to better those places in 2016 to finish within the top three in both events.

To compete at this level takes an immense amount of discipline, commitment and cost – Michael competes as an amateur and so has to fund his training, equipment and event costs independently.  Chesterford Research Park was only too happy to help, giving Michael access to The Nucleus health and fitness centre gym and associated classes during the winter months. 

Michael commented of the opportunity: “Having access to the gym at Chesterford Research Park is of huge benefit to me.  I am able to train there on average three times a week and the variety of classes and equipment on offer allow me to undertake additional strength training - a vital part of the multisport training required to increase my lean muscle tissue and decrease body fat.  The Spinning classes are a super way to maintain and improve bike fitness over the winter and are great alternative to biking outside when the weather is particularly bad!”

The Nucleus health and fitness centre is fully air-conditioned and offers the very latest cardiovascular and resistance machines.  It also includes an exercise studio hosting a diverse range of daily workout classes including Body Conditioning, Boxercise and HIT training as well as Spinning.  The gym has a friendly, inviting atmosphere where everyone is welcome and highly qualified, experienced fitness professionals are on hand to create personal fitness programmes, or to simply provide motivation if required.  Memberships are open to all who work on the Park as well as local residents.

Katherine Maguire, Park Manager at Chesterford Research Park said: “We are delighted that Michael is able to make such good use of our facilities to help with his training. It’s also very motivating for our members to see what can be achieved with dedication a lot of hard work. We will be following Michael’s progress very closely and wish him well with the 2015 season!”

For more information about membership of The Nucleus health and fitness centre please contact The Nucleus health and fitness centre Manager, Duo Zhang on (01799) 532 256. To discover more about Michael, click here.

Leading developer of innovative, high performance media content creation and delivery systems joins swiftly expanding Science Village community on the Park

Chesterford Research Park is delighted to welcome Quantel to the Park.  The world-leading developer of content creation and delivery systems for news and sports production and high quality post-production has taken a suite within the Science Village building.

Quantel systems are used throughout the TV production chain, including news, sports, outside broadcasts, playout and film production. Global Quantel users include the BBC, Fox, ESPN and NBC.

Part of the Quantel Group is Snell, a world leader in enabling broadcasters and media organisations to process and manage valuable media content.  Chesterford Research Park will be home to the Snell switcher R&D team. Switchers are used in television control rooms or outside broadcast vehicles to select which pictures are put on air; enabling a news studio director, for example, to choose which camera’s pictures arrive on the viewer’s screen at home, switching between interviewer and interviewee as appropriate.

When asked why Quantel chose Chesterford as the location for the R&D team, Guy Eaton, Operations Director, Quantel said: “Having looked at around 12 locations, Chesterford really stood out for us. It is in an ideal location and has a very high tech, customer friendly feel, which is important for us, as we will have customers visiting us on site. The additional facilities, such as the gym, bar and restaurant are also excellent.  We care for our staff and believe that offering them a relaxed and social environment can really boost their creativity. Chesterford offers us exactly the right combination of contemporary, state-of the-art work space alongside the more informal areas for relaxation within The Nucleus.”

The 13-person R&D team who will be based at Chesterford are all existing staff from the local area, all of whom were included in the selection process.  The decision to move to the Park was unanimous.

The Science Village at Chesterford Research Park is an ideal HQ for both established and start-up companies which need flexible, high quality and prestigious self-contained accommodation.  The innovative, energy efficient building offers individual R&D suites ranging from 1,515 sq ft to 1,993 sq ft, plus excellent flexibility by combining spaces for larger occupation.  The fully fitted accommodation - served by high-speed data connectivity and Cat 6 cabling - is also supported by a back up generator. Each suite has demountable benching; two sinks and two fume hoods (with space for a third if required), housed within their own dedicated room.

For further information regarding occupancy options please contact the joint agents for Chesterford Research Park – William Clarke at Savills (01223) 347294 or Michael Jones at Dodson Jones (01223) 358114.

Leading developer and supplier of breakthrough point-of-care diagnostics is the latest company to take up occupancy within the Science Village Building.

Chesterford Research Park is delighted to welcome DRW and the Diagnostic Development Unit, University of Cambridge to the Park.  The company, a spinout from the Diagnostic Development Unit of Cambridge University has the Wellcome Trust and University of Cambridge as shareholders. It occupies five suites in the Science Village building, joining companies such as Isogenica, Isomerase and Cellulac within the purpose built development of individual, self-contained R&D suites.

DRW is committed to tackling some of the world's most serious infectious diseases by making breakthrough point-of care diagnostics, developed in the Diagnostic Development Unit of Cambridge University, widely available in places of very limited resource. The company currently offers rapid and reliable tests for Chlamydia, Hepatitis and HIV and is specifically focused on providing rapid Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) as well as Viral Load (VL) measurement for those living with HIV, thereby enabling test-and-treat facilities to be established in even the most challenging and resource-limited environments.

DRW’s mission is to make these cutting-edge technologies and diagnostic assays available in resource poor countries primarily through patient sample testing at the point of care or near the patient. Avoiding both the unreliability of previous simple point-of-care technologies and the prohibitive costs and logistical difficulties associated with central laboratory testing, DRW's technologies provide a fast, accurate and cost-effective method for testing and diagnosis when and where it is most needed.

Craig Wisniewski, Director of Engineering and Manufacturing commented of the move to the Park: “In researching locations we visited Cambridge Science Park, Granta Park and Capital Park at Fulbourn but Chesterford offered us the most suitable, ‘plug and play’ accommodation available in the area.  The tranquil environment and facilities available within The Nucleus are great additions too – I have heard nothing but praise for the Nucleus restaurant.”

Click here for further information on Science Village.  To discuss occupancy options please contact the joint agents for Chesterford Research Park – William Clarke at Savills (01223) 347294 or Michael Jones at Dodson Jones (01223) 358114.

 

Race to Lapland challenge inspires Nucleus gym members!

In November, the Nucleus health and fitness centre, in association with Nuffield Health, launched its ‘Race to Lapland Challenge’.

Over 60 participants entered for a chance to win a Harrods Hamper worth over £500!

The aim of the challenge was simple; gain 2,000 miles over the course of November! Every 15 minutes of exercise completed equated to 50 miles. In other words, spending 10 hours exercising at the gym enabled members to reach the target.

In order to support everyone taking part and motivate them to achieve the full 2,000 miles every studio class attended gained members an additional 25 miles in addition to what they would have earned by participating in the exercise alone. Unsurprisingly, the miles accumulated rapidly during the course of the month.  Congratulations go to our three very worthy winners:

First: Ben Cooper with a massive 3,440 miles.

Second: Shyam Bechar with 3375 miles.

Third: Charlie Cooper with 3260 miles.

Given the popularity of the Lapland challenge we will continue this theme in 2015, introducing brand new challenges and exciting prizes.  

Santa Run in support of EACH

Despite the rain and cold conditions 75 Park tenants and members of the local community gathered at Chesterford Research Park this lunchtime to take part in a Santa Fun Run.  The event in support of East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) raised a fantastic £1,500.00.  Participants - each dressed as santa - ran, jogged or walked either one or three laps of the Park perimeter (approx 1.6km per lap) before gathering in the Nucleus to warm up with the help of mince pies and hot drinks!

Katherine Maguire, Park Manager said: “Given the miserable weather today we were delighted that so many people came out to join in the Santa Run in support of EACH. As a team we enjoy taking part in various charity events throughout the year and I am constantly amazed by the consistent and very generous support that those events receive from both our tenants and Park visitors.”

 

Rain doesn't dampen Park Team's charitable spirit!

Known for their love of fancy dress the Park Team at Chesterford never fail to disappoint.  Today they are once again dressed in their finest in support of Children in Need.

Gathering at the Gatehouse in torrential rain at 0730hrs in the morning was a true sign of their commitment to the cause.  Between 0730hrs and 0900hrs the team collected £480 from Park tenants and visitors as they arrived for work.  

In addition to the collection points, the Catering Team have also entered into the spirit of the day, preparing Pudsey cookies which are on sale in the Restaurant.

Bucket collections continued throughout the day and the final total raised was £600.73!

The Park Team would like to thank everyone for their very generous donations - we couldn't do it without you!

Innovative drug discovery and development company take additional Suite within the Science Village Building

Chesterford Research Park is committed to working together with tenants to meet their requirements as they change and grow.  The Park is therefore extremely pleased to be able to announce Isomerase Therapeutics’ expansion within the Science Village.

The company, which has a particular expertise in the discovery and development of optimised microbial natural products, first arrived at the Park in 2013, taking Suite 9 within the Science Village development.  It now expands its presence within the building with the lease of Suite 10, enabling Isomerase to fulfil increasing demand for its services from existing and new clients.  In addition to taking on more space, the company is also looking to recruit four more team members this year and are specifically looking for individuals with expertise in molecular and microbiology and chemists with experience in microbial natural product biosynthesis.

Dr Steven Moss, CTO commented:  “Our aim has always been to focus on steady, organic growth.  Our expansion into Suite 10 marks the next stage in our development and ensures we can continue to deliver increasingly high levels of service to our existing clients as well as develop new client relationships, whilst at the same time continuing the development of our own proprietary technology.

“Expanding within Science Village was the obvious choice for us. The design of the building allows for organic growth and the ‘plug and play’ nature of the suites allowed us to move in and get started pretty much immediately, meaning little down time which was ideal. In addition to which the Park staff have been incredibly helpful, ensuring as smooth a transition as possible for us.”

The Science Village at Chesterford Research Park is an ideal HQ for both established and start-up companies which need flexible, high quality and prestigious self-contained accommodation.  The innovative, energy efficient building offers individual R&D suites ranging from 1,515 sq ft to 1,993 sq ft, plus excellent flexibility by combining spaces for larger occupation.  A back up generator also supports the fully fitted accommodation, which is served by high-speed data connectivity and Cat 6 cabling. Each suite has demountable benching; two sinks and two fume hoods (with space for a third if required), housed within their own dedicated room.

For further information regarding occupancy options please contact the joint agents for Chesterford Research Park – William Clarke at Savills (01223) 347294 or Michael Jones at Dodson Jones (01223) 358114.

To explore the possibility of joining the Isomerase team please contact via info@isomerase.co.uk:

On Monday 30th September, Biofocus were named winners of the Chesterford Research Park’s intercampus 5-a-side football tournament. The team beat off stiff competition over the course of the tournament from Illumina, SBS, and Glassworks but ultimately came out on top with exceptional team performances of five wins and only one loss.

The tournament was launched in July with the aim of building relationships amongst the various companies at Chesterford. In total, five teams entered: Illumina, SBS, Biofocus, Glassworks and The Nucleus. Unfortunately however, The Nucleus team had to pull out early due to injuries.

The tournament was a great success, achieving the goal of building relationships between companies who may otherwise not have had cause to interact, and setting the tone for future events. It is a tournament that we hope will become a permanent fixture at the Park - look out for details of next summer’s tournament in due course!

Congratulations to the Biofocus team, namely: James Osborne, Chris Hancock, Andrew Stott Bottom, Matt Turns, Will Esmieu and Ben Whitacre.

On Wednesday 1st October Chesterford Reseach Park played host to a very special fashion show in aid of Addenbrooke’s Breast Cancer Appeal.

The show, which raised over £3,000 and featured clothes and accessories from John Lewis’s Autumn/Winter collection, was the brainchild of Natalie Emuss who recently underwent treatment for breast cancer at Addenbrookes. With the help of her great friend and fellow cancer patient, Nicola Reeves, the two women organised and modelled in the fashion show with the aim of ultimately raising £100,000 for the Addenbrooke's breast cancer appeal in order to buy a new ultrasound scanner for the breast unit. They were overwhelmed by the success of the event and thrilled to have had such a great venue for the show.

The fashion show took place in The Nucleus at Chesterford Research Park. It was very well attended by over 240 people and showcased The Nucleus as a truly versatile venue. Chesterford is very proud to have been part of this fundraising activity and looks forward to hosting many more events like this in the future.

Chesterford tenants, Isogenica have announced the appointment of Dr Chris Ullman as CEO with effect from September 29th 2014, following the decision by Dr Kevin Matthews to leave Isogenica to join a publicly listed polymer technology company.

Dr Ullman has been with Isogenica since 2002 and was promoted into the CSO role in 2009.  Over the last five years he has been instrumental in developing Isogenica’s strategy, taking the lead role in driving Isogenica’s technologies and has worked closely with Isogenica’s customers and partners.

 “Dr Ullman has worked closely with Dr Matthews over the last five years and has been at the heart of delivering a fundamental change in the capability and direction of the business. I am sure that Chris will be successful in further developing Isogenica to provide technologies and technology capabilities that are valued by its pharma and biotech partners and academic collaborators” said Jan-Olof Lundin, Chairman of Isogenica.

For more information about Isogenica please click here.

Mathematical modelling company take remaining space within Garden Cottage

Chesterford Research Park has confirmed that mathematical modeling company, Marriott Sinclair, have taken the three remaining suites within Garden Cottage.

Marriott Sinclair are a consulting business combined with a strong software capability, providing Monte Carlo modelling solutions to the insurance, banking, and science sectors. Founded in 2012, Marriott Sinclair now have six partners including Alun Marriott, the Chief Executive Officer, and Mark Sinclair-McGarvie, the Chief Technology Officer.

The company’s latest software offering is tyche TM, a cutting-edge Monte Carlo simulator, with “supercomputer” performance capabilities. tyche TM  is ideally suited to handle a wide range of modelling and optimisation problems accurately and efficiently.  This includes reinsurance optimisation, determination of optimal asset portfolios, or minimising capital requirements for insurers and banks.

Given tyche TM’s strong capabilities in Bayesian Statistics, including innovative Markov Chain Monte Carlo algorithms, tyche TM also has applications in areas such as genomics and pharmacology.  Calculations that might have previously needed to run overnight can, with tyche, be run in minutes or seconds.

Mark Sinclair-McGarvie, Marriott Sinclair Chief Technology Officer, commented: “Our Tyche software is a game-changer for the industry.  We’re bringing supercomputer power to our clients, packaged up in an intuitive interface that’s as easy to use as a spreadsheet.”

For further information regarding occupancy options at Chesterford please contact the joint agents for Chesterford Research Park – William Clarke at Savills (01223) 347294 or Michael Jones at Dodson Jones (01223) 358114.

For further information regarding Marriott Sinclair please click here.

Le Tour comes to Chesterford!

The atmosphere was electric on Monday morning this week as both the Park and local village residents anticipated the arrival of the Tour de France cyclists! The roundabout at the bottom of the Park drive was the focus of events with Little Chesterford residents starting to set up camp just after 6am to ensure a prime view.  Both the Park and village decorated the roundabout with banners, flags from many Nations and the crowning glory – a yellow bike!

Crowds grew as Park employees, local residents and cyclists from the surrounding area gathered, hoping to get a great view away from the busy streets of Saffron Walden.

The pre-cursor to the cyclists themselves – the caravan procession – received a huge welcome but of course the loudest cheers and greatest excitement was saved for the arrival of the cyclists!

All the fun and colour of the carnival came to The Nucleus last Saturday night to celebrate a local Little Chesterford residents’ 50th birthday. 130 guests had traveled from near and far including Ireland and Brazil to take part in the festivities.  The party started with cocktails and guests enjoyed entertainment from a Latin American Salsa band, dancers and an Abba tribute band throughout the evening.  A Brazilian buffet and tapas added the gastronomic touches.  The whole evening was co-ordinated and managed by The Nucleus team. For more information regarding the various services available at The Nucleus please click here.

Clients, colleagues and friends gather to mark leading architects 30th anniversary

130 guests gathered at The Nucleus at Chesterford Research Park on Wednesday 11th June for an evening of celebration to mark Barber Casanovas Ruffles (BCR), 30years as one of the most successful architectural practices in the region.

The evening was hosted by Chris Jones, Director and Trish Harrington, Company Secretary of BCR, with the three original founders, Laurie Barber, Raph Casanovas and Neil Ruffles also in attendance.

Drinks and canapés were served on the Nucleus terrace, followed by speeches and a hog roast in the Nucleus restaurant.

The celebration also afforded the Park an excellent opportunity to showcase the Nucleus’ contemporary central facilities complex, ideal for large evening events such as this, as well as smaller seminars and meetings.

Chris Jones commented: “It is wonderful to celebrate our 30th anniversary at Chesterford – a project we have worked on, together with The Churchmanor Estates Company, for many years. Having master-planned the Park and designed each new building we have had the opportunity to see Chesterford evolve and grow into what it is today, which is hugely satisfying.”

For further information regarding meeting, conferencing and event options at The Nucleus please contact Amanda Newman on (01223) 532 263.

Retroscreen Virology to occupy Emmanuel Building at Chesterford Research Park

Antiviral research company, Retroscreen Virology has completed a deal to assign the entire Emmanuel building from current occupiers, Pfizer.  Retroscreen will take over the lease from Pfizer, which runs until December 2022. 

Retroscreen Virology operates both a clinical services business and a pre-clinical translational research business. The clinical services business is built around their own Human Viral Challenge Model (HCM) which enables pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as world leading academic groups, to accelerate and reduce the cost of bringing anti-viral drugs, diagnostics, and vaccines to market.  

The facility, which is targeted to be fully operational in early 2015, will dramatically improve and broaden the Company’s operational capability. In particular, this planned expansion will allow Retroscreen both to conduct clinical studies for its clients and to leverage its new viral challenge models for commercial and research purposes.

Kym Denny, Retroscreen Chief Executive Officer, commented: “Retroscreen is actively broadening its capabilities and this new bespoke facility at Chesterford will allow us to undertake bedside to bench biomedical research all on one site. This exciting development follows the successful inoculation of our 1,500th volunteer, which was achieved in just over a year since reaching the landmark of our 1,000th volunteer inoculation on 10 December 2012. This is a testament to the industry’s adoption of our viral challenge models and our client delivery.”

Chesterford Park Manager presents cheque for over £300

Approximately seven young people aged between 13 and 24 are diagnosed with cancer every day in the UK. They need expert treatment and specialist support from the moment of diagnosis. The Teenage Cancer Trust is the only charity dedicated to making this happen.

To help support the work of the charity, Chesterford Research Park held a pre-Christmas raffle, the proceeds of which will help the charity continue to support and educate young people affected by cancer and fund further research.

The raffle raised over three hundred pounds and the cheque was handed over to Malcolm and Kate White, area fundraisers for the charity this week. Malcolm and Kate are dedicated supporters of the charity having lost their own son to cancer at 23.

Katherine Maquire, Park Manager at Chesterford Research Park commented: “We are delighted to be able to offer support to the Teenage Cancer Trust via this donation. Once again our tenants willingness to participate was most generous and we are very grateful for their consistent support of our charitable initiatives.”

BioFocus management team celebrate commencement of works with first site visit.

Site clearing work has begun to make way for BioFocus’ state-of-the-art laboratory and HQ facility – The Robinson Building. On completion, the 60,000 sq ft (5,587 sq m) building, which will unite the majority of the company’s drug discovery groups, will afford BioFocus a unique position amongst drug discovery CRO’s for the support of integrated projects.

To celebrate ‘breaking ground’ members of the Management Team from BioFocus, accompanied by Julian Cobourne of Aviva Investors, owners of Chesterford Research Park and Martin Sylvester of Churchmanor Estates, the joint developers, together with representatives from the design and construction teams gathered on site for a first look at progress to date.

Chris Newton, Managing Director of BioFocus commented: “The importance of this new building cannot be underestimated from our perspective. The ability to bring our biology and medicinal chemistry teams together within this contemporary, highly efficient new HQ will bring added synergies both to our clients and our scientists. Marking the beginning of the build-phase is a very exciting day for us.”

On completion the building will comprise two wings, linked by a dramatic two-storey atrium with landscaped courtyard behind. An attractive curved profile will be further enhanced by extensive green landscaping, ensuring the building sits unobtrusively within the Park’s naturally beautiful surroundings.

 

The Park has welcomed yet another innovator, this time to Science Village. Cellulac, a ‘greentech’, carbon neutral technology company has taken Suite 4 (1,515 sq ft) on a five year lease.

Marcus Fenton, Chief Engineer at Cellulac commented: “The Chesterford office will support the Science and Engineering R&D activities in novel biochemical processing within the Cellulac group, in Ireland, Europe and the US. In addition, we will be conducting research on the processing and extraction of sugars and hydrocarbons from micro algae, being undertaken as part of two large European FP7 funded consortia. I am extremely pleased to be basing these activities at Chesterford. The Park provides the ideal location for travel connections, plus access to top resources in the Cambridge area. You couldn’t ask for a better location, glorious environment and great shared facilities. Ideal for a small R&D company to showcase its capabilities.”

 

Over 75 commercial agents, Park tenants and guests of Aviva Investors and The Churchmanor Estates Company, joint developers of the Park, as well as special guests from Elior, the Park’s contract caterers, gathered at The Nucleus on Thursday 3rd October for an evening of exceptional gourmet food and fine wines.

The evening celebrated the latest development at Chesterford – a 60,000 sq ft headquarters building for drug discovery company BioFocus. As one of the first Park occupiers, BioFocus have had a presence at Chesterford for well over a decade and this new state of the art laboratory facility will unite the majority of its existing drug discovery currently housed in older buildings at the park, affording the company a unique position amongst CROs for support of integrated projects. 

The celebration also afforded the Park an excellent opportunity to showcase its contemporary central facilities complex The Nucleus, ideal for large evening events as well as smaller seminars and meetings.

Martin Sylvester, Director The Churchmanor Estates Company, commented: “Having built up a truly collaborative relationship with BioFocus over the last decade, we are delighted to be able to continue to support their growth through the development of this new facility.  This next phase of development will add to the 300,000 sq ft of accommodation already here and currently occupied by true innovators in the field of life sciences - the next generation of tenants joining the Park will find themselves in very good company.”

 

A former engineering building at Chesterford Research Park has been converted and renovated to provide a new home for the Contact Centre team from Saffron Building Society. Building 52 is a detached single storey unit of 10,359 sq ft (962 sq m). It has been let on a 10 year lease.

“We got to know Saffron’s management team when they became a regular user of our meeting rooms at the Park’s central facilities building, The Nucleus. As there was no suitable space to meet their needs close to their HQ in Saffron Walden, we were delighted to be able to work with them to provide high quality refurbished accommodation on the park,” explains Martin Sylvester of Churchmanor Estates, the joint development partner of Aviva Investors at Chesterford Research Park.

“When it became clear Saffron Building Society could not cater for its growth within its central Saffron Walden property we starting searching for a location close by that would provide a quality working environment for our people that would be felt in the highest level of personal service for our customers.

“It quickly became clear that Chesterford Research Park, with its impressive grounds and facilities, met our requirements. We worked closely with the management team to fit out the building and now have a customer service centre that's a step change on what we had previously. The site is now home for our Contact Centre and operations teams covering retail savings, corporate accounts and mortgages. It also gives us the space to grow further from our position as the largest independent Building Society in the East of England,” comments Jon Hall, CEO at Saffron Building Society.

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