Nov 11, 2014

ALT AND QB3 INK NEW DEAL

It’s free! QB3 inks equipment donation deal for biomed startups

QB3 associate director Douglas Crawford: Helping biotech startups get out of the gate faster.

Ron Leuty
Reporter- San Francisco Business Times

One of the lures of the University of California’s QB3 incubator network for life sciences startups is access to the same core facilities — centralized sites with million-dollar pieces of equipment — used by top-flight medical researchers.

Now QB3 and partner American Laboratory Trading Inc. believe they’ve found a way to help young biotech and medical device companies find more commonly used equipment without paying a penny more.

It’s part of a push by ALT, an East Lyme, Conn.-based pre-owned lab equipment company, into the California research equipment market. It also comes as QB3, or the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, expands beyond incubators in San Francisco and Berkeley to the StartX facility near Stanford University.

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StartX, QB3 partnership targets biotech startups in Palo Alto accelerator

Those incubators house more than 60 companies.

No money is exchanging hands in the three-year deal, said ALT COO Jayson Bernstein. “We’re looking at the long-term growth opportunity with early-stage biotechs as they mature.”

ALT will donate equipment and install and service it for free.

Fresh-out-of-the-gate life sciences startups are in a sort of Catch-22: To get money, they must do lab experiments, but the equipment for many of those experiments can cost anywhere from $100 to $250,000. So the agreement between QB3 and ALT could be a game changer for those small companies.

“We want these (startups) to move in and do an experiment on the first day, not spend a lot of time thinking about what piece of equipment they need,” said QB3 associate director Douglas Crawford. “Our startups start like they’re naked and they need to get through that first experiment.”

ALT signed a similar five-year deal in 2013 with LabCentral, a Cambridge, Mass., incubator, and LabCentral cofounder Johannes Fruehauf introduced Crawford and Bernstein.

“We have become big believers in the incubator model,” Bernstein said.

Courtesy of San Francisco Business Times