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22 October, 2021 - 18:07 By Tony Quested

Scientific entrepreneurs and biotech startups courted by Astellas and WAPG

Biotech startups are being sought for a future innovator initiative run by Astellas Pharma Inc., its wholly-owned VC subsidiary Astellas Venture Management and We Are Pioneer Group (WAPG)

Astellas and WAPG have launched the Future Innovator Prize for scientific entrepreneurs and emerging biotechnology start-ups. Winners will receive one year’s free state-of-the-art space at a We Are Pioneer Group location and access to Astellas’ R & D capabilities, business leaders, mentors and global network.

Deadline for applications is December 6 with the two winners announced in March 2022.

“We are thrilled to launch the Future Innovator Prize to scientists and innovators in the UK,” said Kazunori Maruyama, President of Astellas Venture Management.

“We look forward to supporting standout innovators on their journey to discovering and advancing innovative science for the potential future benefit of patients worldwide.”

Tokyo headquartered Astellas Venture Management has previously invested in Cambridge-based life science trailblazers Bicycle Therapeutics, Crescendo Biologics, NeoPhore, PhoreMost and Mogrify.

We Are Pioneer Group was founded in April 2021, following the acquisition of BioCity by Trinity Investment Management (Trinity IM) and Harrison Street Real Estate Capital (Harrison Street), part of a pre-existing joint venture. The deal saw BioCity Group merge with Trinity IM’s science real estate arm, Knowledge Factory.

Ayokunmi Ajetunmobi, venture development manager at We Are Pioneer Group said: “This is a truly unique opportunity for us to further support life-science innovation in the UK. We are the largest innovation ecosystem for the UK’s science and technology industries and the winners of the Future Innovator Prize will find themselves at the heart of this community.

“In addition to free accommodation at one of our leading locations, entrepreneurs will gain access to the resources, specialist expertise and opportunities to accelerate pioneering ideas into successful businesses that scale and grow.”

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