Astellas and MBC BioLabs Announce Golden Ticket Competition to Help Biotech Start-ups Accelerate Early Drug Discovery and Research Efforts

Sponsorship provides a year of access to MBC BioLabs’ life-science incubators and in-house Astellas expertise for scientific innovators

Read original article at Astellas.com

September 29, 2020

With a shared commitment to discovering and advancing innovative science for the potential future benefit of patients worldwide, AVM and MBC BioLabs are continuing their partnership to support scientists and early-stage companies to accelerate their novel therapeutic programs, modalities or platforms. For 2020, AVM is interested in all areas of discovery and new innovations for unmet medical needs, in particular the ones that have potential synergy with Astellas’ Focus Area Approach.

“External innovation is vital in helping us achieve and realize our VISION of turning innovative science into VALUE for patients,” said Maruyama, President, AVM. “The combination of Astellas’ R&D expertise with MBC BioLabs’ leading incubator capabilities creates a unique opportunity for start-ups to transform exciting ideas into real businesses that could bring value and hope to patients around the world.”

“We are delighted to be partnering with Astellas for a second time,” said Douglas Crawford, MBC BioLabs General Manager. “The outstanding work of the previous winners of the Astellas and MBC BioLabs Golden Tickets, AmbAgon Therapeutics and Gordian Biotechnology, is testament to what can be achieved by combining our laboratory accelerator and Astellas’ enduring support, advice and expertise.”

Entrepreneurial scientists, emerging life-science and biotechnology start-ups have until October 27, 2020 to enter the Golden Ticket Competition.

About the Golden Ticket Competition
Astellas is offering up to two Golden Tickets for pioneering scientists with innovative research that complements Astellas’ interest in all areas of innovation and in particular Astellas Focus Area Approach.

Companies awarded an Astellas Golden Ticket will gain one year’s priority admission or renewal to MBC BioLabs’ state-of-the-art laboratory and access to Astellas’ R&D scientists and business leaders. The competition is open from September 29 to October 27, 2020. Entrepreneurial scientists, emerging life-science or biotechnology start-ups should submit their non-confidential company presentation, including a one-page executive summary, to astellasgoldenticket@mbcbiolabs.com to be considered. The decision to award any Golden Ticket and the assessments underlying such decision, are solely within the judgment of Astellas and MBC BioLabs and are not subject to any objection or appeal.

The 2019 Astellas Golden Ticket winners were AmbAgon Therapeutics and Gordian Biotechnology, chosen for the strength of the innovation in their approach, the therapeutic potential of their research and alignment of their novel technological platforms with Astellas’ R&D Focus Areas.

Astellas and MBC BioLabs 2020 Golden Ticket Competition Submission Guidance

Thank you for considering an application to the Astellas and MBC BioLabs Golden Ticket Competition. Astellas is offering up to two Golden Tickets for pioneering scientists with innovative research that complements Astellas’ interest in all areas of innovation and in particular our R&D Focus Areas and pipeline. Companies awarded a Golden Ticket will gain one year’s priority admission or renewal to MBC BioLabs’ state-of-the-art laboratory and access to Astellas’ R&D scientists and business leaders.

Submission Guidelines

Please submit the items described below to astellasgoldenticket@mbcbiolabs.com by October 27, 2020.

1. A one-page executive summary

Please provide a brief overview of your company, including details about:

  • The history of your company: How and why did you form the company?
  • Uniqueness: What makes your company different from others in your chosen therapeutic area?
  • Inflection point: What is the key challenge?
  • What are you aiming to accomplish by winning a Golden Ticket and working with Astellas?

2. A non-confidential company presentation

Please provide a non-confidential company presentation, including details about:

  • Your company’s vision and strategy
  • The opportunity e.g. target disease or issues in healthcare that you are addressing
  • The expertise you have on your team to realize your vision
  • Developmental steps with milestones
  • The competitive landscape
  • Intellectual property or publications that include data supporting your science

The presentation should be up to 10 slides. If you wish to include a few slides of supplemental information, please include this within an appendix.

3. Confirm how you heard about the Astellas Golden Ticket Competition

In your submission, please provide details on how you heard about the competition, such as through:

  • The Astellas press release
  • An Astellas employee
  • MBC BioLabs’ communications or an MBC employee
  • If none of the above, please provide details on how you heard about the competition

The decision to award any Golden Ticket, and the assessments underlying such decision, are solely within the judgment of Astellas and MBC BioLabs, and are not subject to any objection or appeal.

About Astellas Venture Management
AVM is the wholly-owned venture capital organization within Astellas, dedicated to supporting pre-clinical, cutting-edge science that can bring VALUE to patients. For over 20 years, AVM has provided equity investments to private, early-stage companies developing therapeutic programs and platform technologies, helping them to advance their innovations faster. AVM is a strategic investor, making investments in science that will enhance the current Astellas R&D pipeline or that could catalyze new directions in discovery research.

About Astellas
Astellas Pharma Inc., is a pharmaceutical company conducting business in more than 70 countries around the world. We are promoting the Focus Area Approach that is designed to identify opportunities for the continuous creation of new drugs to address diseases with high unmet medical needs by focusing on Biology and Modality. Furthermore, we are also looking beyond our foundational Rx focus to create Rx+® healthcare solutions combine our expertise and knowledge with cutting-edge technology in different fields of external partners. Through these efforts, Astellas stands on the forefront of healthcare change to turn innovative science into value for patients. For more information, please visit our website at https://www.astellas.com/en

About MBC BioLabs
MBC BioLabs is dedicated to helping life-science startups succeed. By renting space as small as a single bench and providing these entrepreneurial scientists with access to millions of dollars of equipment, we allow companies to be fast, focused, and frugal. We now have two sites: one in the Dogpatch neighborhood in San Francisco and a new campus in San Carlos. Each site has a complete molecular biology core facility that allows companies to do experiments on day one, not year one. We have partnerships with leading pharmaceutical and life-science companies as well as a built-in venture capital firm, Mission Bay Capital. These partnerships provide our entrepreneurs with valuable insights about where to focus their efforts and accelerates the innovation pipeline. Our labs have truly enabled awesome: since our opening in 2013 we have helped launch and grow 173 companies. These companies have brought 53 programs to the clinic, produced 13 approved diagnostics, and raised over $4.5 billion!

Cautionary Notes
In this press release, statements made with respect to current plans, estimates, strategies and beliefs and other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements about the future performance of Astellas. These statements are based on management’s current assumptions and beliefs in light of the information currently available to it and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to: (i) changes in general economic conditions and in laws and regulations, relating to pharmaceutical markets, (ii) currency exchange rate fluctuations, (iii) delays in new product launches, (iv) the inability of Astellas to market existing and new products effectively, (v) the inability of Astellas to continue to effectively research and develop products accepted by customers in highly competitive markets, and (vi) infringements of Astellas’ intellectual property rights by third parties. Information about pharmaceutical products (including products currently in development) which is included in this press release is not intended to constitute an advertisement or medical advice.

SOURCE Astellas Pharma Inc.

For further information: Astellas Pharma Inc., Media Contact, Valerie Moens, Medical & Development Strategic Planning and Communications, TEL: +1 312-772-0050, EMAIL: valerie.moens@astellas.com; MBC BioLabs, Media Contacts, Flavia Nachbar, Public & Alliance Relations Manager, MBC BioLabs, TEL: +1 415-347-8287, EMAIL: flavia.nachbar@mbcbiolabs.com; Linda Eng, Director of Operations, MBC BioLabs, TEL: +1 415-347-8287, EMAIL: linda.eng@mbcbiolabs.com