Winners of Franklin research residencies announced

Following the SME competition, kicked off in October 2022, three of the UK’s brightest life science companies have been awarded research prizes by the Rosalind Franklin Institute in collaboration with the Science and Technology Facilities Council

Winning biotech companies Neuro-Bio, Oxford Target Therapeutics and Hypha Discovery will each spend a residency of 12 weeks at the Rosalind Franklin Institute, allowing them to investigate, respectively, a potential early diagnostic test for Alzheimer’s disease, a promising therapy for Triple Negative Breast Cancer, and new technologies for determining the chemical structures of small drug metabolites.

“Without this opportunity, we wouldn’t be able to fund the cost of this work ourselves as we have too many competing priorities. But it is instrumental for us, so the Franklin’s offer of funding and expertise will really fill a vital gap.” Victor Bolanos-Garcia, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Oxford Target Therapeutics

“We’ve previously done a very limited pilot study in-house, but this work with the Franklin will allow us to validate the test, greatly increase our throughput and enable the quantification of T14. This transformational step will enable us to progress from a very lab-based project into something that doctors will be able to access, very much faster than we’d have been able to do otherwise.” –  Sara Garcia Rates, Chief Scientific Officer of Neuro-Bio

“The Franklin is tasked with creating advances which push forward life science. The creative challenges posed by these SMEs are a great testbed for our technologies – this creates a golden opportunity to explore new areas together and so provide the companies with the leaps in results they need to take their products to the next stage.” – Professor Ben Davis, Interim Director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute

Stronger and more productive relationships between Oxfordshire’s high-tech businesses, the universities and research institutions was identified as a key measure of success in the 2013 Oxfordshire Innovation Engine report.

This competition is a good example of how research institutions within the region are developing ways of opening their doors to collaboration and research partnerships. The competition, launched by the Rosalind Franklin Institute in the autumn of 2022, gave UK life science SMEs the opportunity to access the latest technologies and high-level scientific support worth up to £50,000. Although it was originally envisaged that there would be only one winning company selected to take part in a 12-week residency, it is very positive to see this opportunity being opened to three SMEs.

It is clear that knowledge exchange, with new mechanisms to support stronger and more productive relationships between Oxfordshire’s institutions and businesses of all sizes, will be a key driver of our innovation economy.  It is exciting to see the Rosalind Franklin Institute opening its doors to these three collaborations.

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