New incubator model for CSHL spin-outs

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Credit: Autobahn Labs

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) is collaborating with Autobahn Labs, a new life sciences incubator, to catalyze the Laboratory’s early-stage discovery programs into spin-out companies that commercialize transformational new therapies. CSHL is a world leader in basic biological research and in target discovery for human genetic diseases like cancer. Autobahn will provide up to $5 million to early-stage drug discovery projects that are beyond the academic funding model through its association with Samsara BioCapital, a leading life sciences investment firm and Evotec SE, a global drug discovery and development company.

“Autobahn has the ability to get involved early, put their resources into CSHL’s drug discovery programs, and generate a pipeline of highly investable spin-out companies,” said Andrew Whiteley, CSHL vice president of Business Development and Technology Transfer. “This collaboration will enable us to advance our basic biology expertise more quickly from the lab to the clinic.”

The collaboration is essential for continuing research projects with significant therapeutic potential by providing financial backing when academic research funds are no longer sufficient. Autobahn Labs’ $5 million per project investment will create jointly owned companies, offer operational and scientific expertise to guide drug development by way of Autobahn’s advisory group, and provide access to Evotec’s powerful drug discovery and drug development platforms. Autobahn’s executive team and advisors also add intellectual capital, with a wealth of expertise in launching successful therapeutic companies. “CSHL welcomes Autobahn’s innovative funding model as part of our high-value business development strategies for early-stage translational opportunities,” Whiteley explained.

Autobahn has the option to license successful technology from CSHL and move a company forward for a traditional Series A round of funding led by Samsara BioCapital. Together, CSHL’s scientists, Autobahn Labs, and Evotec will collaborate on advancing these programs.

“Autobahn is honored to work with CSHL’s world-leading scientists to identify promising innovations for advancement from target discovery to preclinical drug candidates,” said Thomas Novak, chief scientific officer of Autobahn Labs. “This collaboration provides CSHL with the resources to confirm the viability of promising therapies early and accelerate those with the highest therapeutic potential.”

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