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8 September, 2017 - 11:29 By Tony Quested

Cambridge Epigenetix scales headcount from new Chesterford HQ

Cambridge Epigenetix Jason

Life science trailblazer Cambridge Epigenetix is scaling fast from a new headquarters in the cluster.

The Cambridge University spin-out has moved from the Babraham Research Campus into the 15,000 sq ft Trinity Building at Chesterford Research Park. The company’s mission is to harness the power of epigenetics to develop the next generation of diagnostics and therapeutics; epigenetics is the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself.

Cambridge Epigenetix spun out of the university in 2012 and has already grown to a team of 31 full time employees and continues to expand rapidly.

The company tells Business Weekly that it anticipates a headcount of 40 by the end of this year with continued growth to 50-plus not long after that. A spokesperson said: “We're hiring across all teams – scientists, bioinformaticians, business development and support staff.

“We have customers worldwide using our TrueMethyl oxidative bisulfite technology and we've partnered with NuGEN in California to expand the sale and distribution of our innovative research tools.

“We are already collaborating with several top key opinion leaders and leading Pharma partners to identify new diagnostic biomarkers and develop next generation diagnostic assays.

“Our increased sample processing, sequencing and informatic capabilities will ensure that we become the go-to partner for epigenetic discovery.”

Cambridge Epigenetix was founded by Professor Sir Shankar Balasubramanian (co-inventor of the Solexa/Illumina sequencing-by-synthesis platform) and Dr Bobby Yerramilli-Rao to commercialise its founding technology, oxidative bisulfite sequencing (oxBS-Seq), which has enabled researchers to prove the link between epigenetic DNA modifications and disease.

The move to Chesterford unites the current team under one roof and will facilitate the rapid growth of the organisation as it focuses on the utilisation of its proprietary epigenetic discovery platforms to develop improved diagnostic tests, both in house and in partnership with leading biopharma companies.

Dr Jason Mellad (pictured), CEO, Cambridge Epigenetix said: “We are committed to delivering on the promise of epigenetics to improve human health. The move to Chesterford Research Park is a vital component of our strategy, providing us with state-of-the-art facilities and importantly the space to grow as we expand our biomarker discovery capabilities.

“We are extremely excited by this next stage in the company’s development as we apply our disruptive technologies to develop improved, minimally invasive diagnostic and prognostic tests for accurate and early detection of cancer and other diseases.”

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