Start Codon joins Cancer Research UK’s Entrepreneurial Programmes Initiative

2020-02-05 00:00:00

  • Aims to support the next generation of oncology-based start-ups
  • Start Codon to focus on Cambridge, UK, research community, supporting new businesses that will address unmet medical needs


CAMBRIDGE and LONDON, UK, 05 February 2020 – Start Codon, a new model of life science and healthcare business accelerator, today announced it has joined Cancer Research UK’s Entrepreneurial Programmes Initiative, which aims to promote the development of new business ventures within academia and encourage entrepreneurship. Start Codon’s role will focus on the Cambridge, UK, cluster, to educate a multi-disciplinary oncology research community about entrepreneurship, company formation, operations and fundraising, with the goal of supporting the development of viable start-up businesses that will address unmet medical needs.

Cancer Research UK, the world’s largest independent funder of cancer research, has established the initiative to bridge the gap between medical research advancements and the translation of research findings into clinical practice by providing oncology researchers with the skills, infrastructure and support needed to accelerate the progression of their ideas and discoveries into products that will improve the lives of cancer patients. It is designed primarily to help PhD students, postdocs, and junior group leaders; however, all researchers interested in fighting cancer are encouraged to get involved, regardless of their career stage or discipline.

Dr Jason Mellad, CEO at Start Codon, said: “It is fantastic to be working with such an inspiring organisation to promote innovative oncology research in the Cambridge Cluster. At Start Codon, we are committed to empowering science entrepreneurs by providing them with a launchpad in which they can take their first significant step into developing and, ultimately, commercialising their novel ideas and discoveries. We look forward to hearing from the cancer research community.”


Tony Hickson, Chief Business Officer at Cancer Research UK, said: “This partnership with Start Codon is an important step in our work to establish a thriving entrepreneurial community in cancer research. By working with business accelerators, we hope to address the current translation gap and help accelerate more promising ideas into the clinic and to people with cancer.”


To learn more about Start Codon's training scheme, click here.

Fo more information about Cancer Research UK’s Entrepreneurial Programmes Initiative, click here.

Notes to editors

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Notes to Editors

About Start Codon

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


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


Follow Start Codon on Twitter @StartCodon and LinkedIn @Start Codon

About Cancer Research UK’s Commercial Partnerships Team

Our specialist Commercial Partnerships Team works with leading international cancer scientists and their institutes to protect intellectual property arising from their research and to establish links with commercial partners. The team develop promising ideas into successful cancer therapeutics, software, devices, diagnostics and enabling technologies. This helps to accelerate progress in exciting new discoveries in cancer research and bring new treatments to patients sooner.




About Cancer Research UK

  • Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research.
  • Cancer Research UK’s pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives.
  • Cancer Research UK receives no funding from the UK government for its life-saving research. Every step it makes towards beating cancer relies on vital donations from the public.
  • Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival in the UK double in the last 40 years.
  • Today, 2 in 4 people survive their cancer for at least 10 years. Cancer Research UK’s ambition is to accelerate progress so that by 2034, 3 in 4 people will survive their cancer for at least 10 years.
  • Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.
  • Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK’s vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.


For further information about Cancer Research UK’s work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 0300 123 1022 or visit Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.