In a search for innovative ideas in biotechnology, Switzerland is a good place to start. The nation is consistently mentioned among the top biotech hubs in Europe and globally. In addition to hosting industry leaders including CSL Behring who has a leading operations presence and R&D hub there, Switzerland is also home to companies focused on creating early stage therapies that hold enormous potential to help patients.
In order to get closer to that innovation, CSL Behring recently joined other leading biotechs in partnering with BaseLaunch, a Basel-area biotech venture accelerator and incubator, for their second phase of investments. Samuel Hou, CSL Behring’s Director of Research Innovation Europe, says the partnership puts CSL Behring alongside top companies such as Roche and Johnson & Johnson - in getting an inside look at cutting edge treatments and therapies under development, primarily in Europe.
“Through BaseLaunch’s network and growing reputation, more start-ups, university spin-offs, and small biotechs are applying for support,” Hou added. “Working with Baselaunch gives us an early insight into the activities of these highly innovative small companies with the potential for partnering opportunities that deliver new innovations into the CSL Behring pipeline. This is a key pillar of our Research External Innovation strategy in Europe.”
The potential for collaboration between CSL Behring and BaseLaunch was evident early on for Alex Stankovic, Director of Global Licensing, who met with the BaseLaunch team at a Swiss Biopartnering meeting.
“What drew me to the BaseLaunch was their extensive reach to early stage opportunities, as well as their process and expertise in evaluating them,” Stankovic said.
Scientists and entrepreneurs selected by BaseLaunch can receive up to USD $500,000 in funding to advance their ideas. CSL Behring and other BaseLaunch partners have the opportunity to review the early stage assets and discuss deeper potential collaborations.
The effort is part of a broader Research External Innovation strategy to get closer to innovation by strategically partnering with early-stage biotechs and academic institutions in areas of the world where we have a leading Research presence, said Marthe D’Ombrain, Senior Director & Head, Global Research Innovation.
“We are seeking new partnerships in a really proactive way to support and execute on both CSL’s 2030 strategy and new Therapeutic Area model,” D’Ombrain said, adding that her hope is that early investment will pay dividends.
“We need to have a really strong and diverse pipeline from which to choose from as we advance promising candidates through the clinic and work to sustain CSL’s pipeline for the future,” she said.