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Start Codon showcases its first portfolio companies from its life science venture building programme

Start Codon aims to rapidly translate the most disruptive and innovative life science research into successful companies and positive clinical outcomes • The first four companies invested in by Start Codon will debut at the Milner Therapeutics Symposium on the 26th June and at OnHelix on the 14th July • Start Codon is now accepting applications for additional companies to join its venture building programme. Early stage start-up companies in the life sciences and healthcare space are invited to apply via

  1. CAMBRIDGE UK, 22 June 2020 – Start Codon, a new model of life science and venture builder, today proudly debuts its first four portfolio company investments. Start Codon aims to minimise risk and translate early stage research into successful start-ups, ready for funding and partnership. Start Codon has worked closely with four exciting life science and healthcare companies that were enrolled into the programme in February this year.They are:
    1. Enhanc3D Genomics, a functional genomics spin-out of the Babraham Institute (Cambridge, UK) whose platform technology links non-coding sequence variants to their target genes in order to identify novel therapeutic targets
    2. Drishti Discoveries, a start-up leveraging a proprietary gene silencing technology to develop therapies for rare inherited diseases
    3. Spirea, a spin-out from the University of Cambridge, who is developing the next generation of antibody drug conjugate cancer therapeutics which carry more drug payload to tumour cells, resulting in greater efficacy, tolerability and the ability to treat more cancer patients
    4. Semarion, a University of Cambridge spin-out, who is revolutionising cell-based assays for drug discovery and life science through its proprietary SemaCyte® microcarrier platform, which leverages novel materials physics for assay miniaturisation, multiplexing, and automation

They will debut on 26th June 2020 at the Milner Therapeutics Symposium “Building Collaborations to Transform Therapies” and 14th July during the annual OnHelix conference organised by One Nucleus. The presentations will see the companies unveiled to audiences of investors and senior pharma execs.

Start Codon plans to invest in and support up to 50 start-up companies over the next five years. Start Codon is now accepting applications for future companies to join its venture building programme and receive investment. Early stage start-up companies in the life sciences and healthcare space are invited to apply via

Dr Jason Mellad, Co-founder and CEO at Start Codon, said: “We are providing life science and healthcare companies with a unique combination of funding, facilities and mentoring to support their development and success. It is exciting to be working closely with these four exciting start-up companies, helping them to successfully commercialise their novel ideas and discoveries.”

Daniel Rooke, Co-founder and Head of Operations and Legal at Start Codon, said: “We are extremely proud to present the first group of companies from the Start Codon programme. Having provided the mentoring, coaching and infrastructure to fast-track their commercial development, it is incredibly exciting to see how the technologies and teams have progressed.”

To learn more about Start Codon, click here.

Photo: For high-resolution images please contact Zyme Communications.

Jason Mellad

Start Codon

Debora Lucarelli


Enhanc3D Genomics

Sapan Gandhi


Drishti Discoveries

Jeroen Verheyen



Myriam Ouberai



For further information, please contact:

Lorna Cuddon
Zyme Communications
Tel: +44(0)7811996942

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Notes to Editors
About Start Codon

Start Codon is a new model of life science and healthcare venture builder, 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 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