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UK's Babraham Institute Opens New Bioincubator Building, Expanding Space for Startups

By Alex Philippidis

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The commercial arm of the UK's Babraham Institute has expanded its bioincubator space by 8,000 square feet following the opening of its £4 million ($6.4 million) Maia building within its campus.

Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd. has attracted seven companies to the space, spokeswoman Claire Cockcroft told GenomeWeb Daily News. Synome, Recombinant Antibody Technology, and Convergence Pharmaceuticals are new arrivals to the Babraham Research Campus located some 6 miles south of Cambridge, let alone Maia. Another four other companies have relocated to Maia from smaller spaces within the campus — Innova Biosciences, Total Scientific, Urosens, and Alpha Biologics.

Those companies, and future tenant businesses at Maia, will have access to the Technology Development Laboratory, a biology and chemistry laboratory designed for proof-of-concept stage users in molecular biology, protein biochemistry, cell biology, and medicinal and synthetic chemistry.

The new space, as with current incubator space, will be open to startups whether spun out of the institute or from elsewhere.

With the opening of Maia, the campus now has about 70,000 square feet of total bioincubator space for startups.

The new building was originally planned as the first of two "Maia" phases; Cockcroft had no information on the status of the second phase.

A ceremony marking the completion of Maia was held last week, following the delivery of the 2010 Bioenterprise Lecture by Sir Gregory Winter.

Funding for the Maia building came from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, which supports the Babraham Institute.