Five Russian startups – the winners of the Startup Challenge accelerator organised jointly by the Skolkovo Foundation and multinational pharma giant AstraZeneca – are showcasing their inventions at the International Future Healthcare Forum in the British city of Cambridge this week.
Representatives of the startups and the Skolkovo Foundation, with Dvorkovich at the centre, in Cambridge. Photo: Sk.ru.
The five Russian teams presented their projects to experts and mentors from AstraZeneca’s headquarters in Cambridge, along with representatives of leading accelerators and Cambridge scientists.
Skolkovo Foundation chairman Arkady Dvorkovich, who led the delegation visiting Cambridge on December 3 and 4, said taking part in the event would give Skolkovo biomed teams “a unique opportunity to present the results of their scientific work to an industrial partner and reveal new horizons for cooperation at an international level.”
The five companies were selected to take part in the accelerator back in July. The joint AstraZeneca-Skolkoov accelerator – the first of its kind – was aimed at teams developing innovative solutions for treating cancer, cardiovascular, respiratory and autoimmune illnesses, and metabolic and kidney disease. The finalists who made it to Cambridge this week are Moltech, an innovative c-Src/Sky kinase inhibitor for the treatment of osteoarthritis and other degenerative-dystrophic and autoimmune joint diseases; Target Medicals, the creator of a CRYSTA tech platform for novel drug discovery; M-Discovery, a peptide that activates the immune system’s macrophages to help the human body battle cancer; Brain Beat, a non-invasive glucometer; and Microneedle Industrial, a system of using bioresorptive microneedle applicators for the painless transdermal delivery of vaccines and medicine.
The companies that won places on the accelerator programme got the chance to work with mentors from AstraZeneca and the opportunity to use the Sk BioLab hack space in the Skolkovo Technopark, as well as undergoing business training supervised by leading specialists at AstraZeneca. The startups that weren’t residents of the Skolkovo Foundation at the time of winning a place on the accelerator have since obtained resident status, entitling them to apply for a minigrant of up to 5 million rubles ($75,000).
“The event in Cambridge has primarily scientific significance, but in the event of success, taking part in the forum will help the Skolkovo startups to achieve success in business too,” said Kamila Zarubina, director of acceleration within the Skolkovo Foundation’s biomed cluster.
Dvorkovich presented the Skolkovo project as a whole to the audience in Cambridge and answered questions.
A major European tech centre, Cambridge and the surrounding area are known as the Silicon Fen, due to the presence of a cluster of hi-tech businesses there focusing on IT, electronics and biotech. The Cambridge Biomedical Campus, where AstraZeneca’s new state-of-the-art global headquarters are currently under construction, is one of the largest centres of medical research in Europe.