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16 June, 2022 - 11:45 By News Desk

Illumina toasts Accelerator success in Cambridge

Illumina Accelerator, Cambridge held an official ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday that had been delayed because of COVID-19 restrictions.

The event was to celebrate the accomplishments that the startup engine has made to date and the global impact that it can continue to have. The Illumina Accelerator is fast becoming a powerhouse in attracting top talent and investment capital into genomics and the city of Cambridge.

Illumina Accelerator is a company creation engine that provides select startups with access to seed investment, business guidance, Illumina’s sequencing systems and reagent and fully operational lab space in the San Francisco Bay Area or Cambridge, UK during each six-month funding cycle.

Since its launch in July 2020, Illumina Accelerator, Cambridge (IAC) has launched 13 startups dedicated to harnessing the applications of genomics to improve human health, including novel therapeutics, diagnostics, synthetic biology, research tools, and agriculture.  With a global reach, IAC has brought startups to Cambridge from seven different countries (UK, Poland, South Africa, Israel, US, Argentina & India).

Among the UK Accelerator alumni are Alchemab Therapeutics LTD, a therapeutics company pioneering the next generation of antibody drugs that went on to raise £60 million in Series A funding upon graduation, as well as recent graduate Broken String Biosciences Limited, a sequencing tools company focused on assessing the stability of the genome that secured £3m in seed funding.

The ceremony was hosted by Paula Dowdy, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Illumina for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Distinguished guests included Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Dr Nik Johnson, entrepreneurs and Illumina’s partner Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA).

Paula Dowdy aid: “We are delighted to partner with the Mayoral Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority in celebrating the ribbon-cutting ceremony today. Cambridge is a leading cluster of life science innovation in UK and globally. We’re proud to celebrate our first four funding cycles to date.”

Illumina’s partnership with the Mayor and Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA), announced in June 2020, has helped to grow the Illumina Accelerator Cambridge over the past two years, with the Mayoral Combined Authority providing £100K in upfront seed funding to incoming startups. Up to 30 businesses will benefit from this funding partnership with CPCA over a period of three years.

Dr Nik Johnson added: “I’m delighted to be able to cut the ribbon on a fantastic accelerator programme that is making an important contribution to the growing life sciences sector in this region. Creating the conditions for start-ups to thrive, like this accelerator does, creates the high-growth companies and skilled jobs that will support our economy and communities for years to come."

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