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A photo of the BioEscalator's new laboratory space. Rows of bench space with a glass panel wall reflecting the outside behind them.

With demand for high-quality lab facilities in Oxfordshire showing no sign of waning, the BioEscalator decided in the summer of 2021 to convert its largest single unit from office to laboratory, thereby creating a fantastic new incubator space for biotech start-ups and spin-outs.

The lab, beautifully positioned in the Innovation Building with a view over the landscaped garden and the new state-of-the-art Institute for Developmental and Regenerative Medicine, has been created with flexibility in mind. The room is divided into two, with one large, dedicated lab and a smaller unit that can be used as either lab or office.

An existing BioEscalator tenant, Ochre Bio, moved into the new lab as it opened in December 2021. The biotech start-up, led by Jack O’Meara and Quin Wills, is growing impressively quickly. The company develops genomic medicines to rejuvenate fatty donor livers before transplant and is working closely with several academic centres on the University’s Old Road Campus. The company joined the BioEscalator in March 2020 with 1 bench in the Innovation Lab and rapidly expanded to 3 benches before moving to a private lab and office space 9 months later. The new larger lab has enabled Ochre Bio to pursue its ambitious growth plans following the successful $9.6M fundraise, completed in June 2021.

 

We wanted to create a new, larger space for our tenant companies. Our experience to date has highlighted that some of our start-ups grow extremely rapidly during the first 2 years and desperately need additional space within our nurturing environment before they are ready to move on to considerably larger grow-on space when they graduate from the BioEscalator.
- Claire Shingler, Business Manager at the BioEscalator