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The top half of the image is the Exogene logo on a pastel rainbow background. The lower half of the image is the KQ Labs logo and the Frances Crick Institute logo on a black background.

Exogene is an early-stage biotechnology startup enabling the discovery of T-cell-receptor (TCR)-based cell therapies to tackle solid cancers and reverse immune ageing, by combining artificial intelligence (AI) and high-throughput TCR screening in the lab. The company joined the BioEscalator community in June 2021. Its team is building an AI platform to computationally screen entire patient-derived TCR repertoires and identify rare, effective TCRs for cell therapy applications. Find out more


Exogene is excited to join the KQ Labs five-month accelerator programme. The programme is for exciting early-stage startups using data as a core part of their business model to improve human health, run by the Francis Crick Institute and funded by the medical research charity LifeArc in partnership with Cancer Research UK and UK SPINE.


The new cohort, consisting of companies looking to tackle health challenges and diseases including diabetes, cancer and multiple sclerosis, will also benefit from funding in the form of a convertible loan, and introductions to key investors and major corporates. 


The programme is aimed at accelerating early-stage start-ups and providing training to create future leaders. A key ambition is to catalyse the development of a data-driven health ecosystem in the UK, validating new ideas and putting exciting companies on the path to receiving further investment.


Since September 2018, KQ Labs has supported over thirty companies with the help of many fantastic partners and supporters. 


Barbara Domayne-Hayman, Entrepreneur in Residence at the Crick and lead for the KQ Labs accelerator, said: “The strength of our programme is in our growing network, and these new companies will join our supportive family of alumni, mentors and investors. I’m incredibly excited to see companies from across the country focusing on such a diverse range of health challenges participating in our programme this year. 


“By highlighting and nurturing the innovation occurring at the health-data interface, we can reinforce the UK's position as a major force in artificial intelligence, health and life sciences, and encourage crucial investment in companies that have the potential to change the face of future healthcare.”


The KQ Labs accelerator is a five-month programme consisting of weekly workshops and mentoring sessions led by hand-picked experts ranging from corporate partners, and investors, to subject matter experts. The programme is open to early-stage start-ups using data as a core part of their business model to improve human health.


The programme is supported by LifeArc, and this year KQ Labs also has two new strategic partnerships. Cancer Research UK and UK SPINE are each funding a dedicated place focused on cancer and healthy-ageing.


Andrew Farquharson, who leads the technology transfer team at LifeArc said: “We are delighted to be supporting the KQ Labs accelerator for a second year and to be working with the Crick to build a world-class cluster of data-driven health start-ups in the UK.”

He continues: “KQ Labs is a great example of how LifeArc strategically combines translational funding and translational advice to accelerate early innovations towards the clinic. Working with the Crick, we can support these promising data-driven health companies to create solutions to help more patients faster.” 


Original article