AstraZeneca and SmiLe Incubator have entered into a cooperation agreement in which AstraZeneca will provide expert advisory services to SmiLe incubator companies. Under this arrangement, appropriate startup companies linked with SmiLe Incubator will have the opportunity to receive advice through AstraZeneca’s mentoring program, AstraZeneca Exchange Mentoring Nordics. The companies will be better equipped to meet the expectations and requirements of the pharmaceutical industry down the road when it is time for licensing, collaboration or a purchase.
The incubator companies can ask AstraZeneca questions through their business adviser at SmiLe. AstraZeneca will then assemble a group of relevant AstraZeneca experts to provide limited advisory services and discussion. This customized support system from a global pharmaceutical company like AstraZeneca could provide invaluable help to startup companies in the early phases of product development of drug candidates. It is often difficult to gain the type of experience that large pharma companies have acquired in any other way, at the same time that such knowledge is often in demand by both startup companies and their future partners.
“For many of our member companies, large pharmaceutical companies in particular are potential partners. This is an outstanding opportunity for them to understand how major pharmaceutical companies evaluate projects and set requirements. Our startup companies usually come from universities and have developed in an academic environment. A large pharmaceutical company like AstraZeneca knows what is required for commercial development, as well as the terms and conditions that apply in the market. Armed with such advice, companies are more likely to make correct choices right from the start,” says Ebba Fåhraeus, President of SmiLe Incubator.
In2cure is one of SmiLe’s incubator companies that has received advice from AstraZeneca so far.
“The program offered a truly unique opportunity to openly discuss strategic issues with a large pharmaceutical company. We gained insight into how we should set priorities when choosing among the various pathways to market, as well as greater understanding of what questions need to be answered before discussing potential collaboration and ultimately licensing,” says Helen Hartman, CEO of in2cure.
“Our aim is to be a knowledge partner where we can use our industrial expertise to help strengthen startup companies and promote life science in the region. Innovation goes hand in hand with collaboration,” says Elisabeth Björk, AstraZeneca Senior Vice President, Late Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolism, Biopharmaceuticals R&D, AstraZeneca.
For more information, please contact: Ebba Fåhraeus, CEO of SmiLe Incubator, +46 (0)73- 4000433,ebba [at] smileincubator.life
About SmiLe Incubator: SmiLe is a life science business incubator based in Medicon Village in Lund. SmiLe Incubator helps entrepreneurs to commercialize their ideas. There are currently more than 20 companies in SmiLe, which together with alumni companies, have attracted more than EUR 225 million in venture capital to date since 2014. SmiLe offers business coaching, a large network of contacts and a dynamic community, as well as many well-equipped laboratories, which is unique of its kind in Sweden. SmiLe is a non-profit organization and receives basic funding from Region Skåne, Lund Municipality, Lund University and Medicon Village. SmiLe’s listed alumni companies have a market capitalization of almost EUR 590 million (Q4 2018).
About AstraZeneca: AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on research, development and marketing of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three core therapeutic areas: oncology, cardiovascular, renal and metabolism, and respiratory. The company is also selectively active in autoimmunity, neuroscience and infection. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.