Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory will work with Autobahn Labs to propel more early-stage discovery programmes into spinouts.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) has inked a partnership agreement with life sciences incubator Autobahn Labs that will look to generate more spinouts building on the research institute’s early-stage discovery programmes.

Autobahn will invest up to $5m in drug discovery projects that have advanced beyond the point of academic research funds. The resulting spinouts will be jointly owned by the two partners and Autobahn will also provide operational and scientific expertise to guide the drug development.

Autobahn Labs was launched a year ago by drug discovery firm Evotec, investment firm Samsara BioCapital and family-run investment fund KCK to provide a commercialisation bridge that invests earlier than traditional venture capital firms.

Its first university partner, University of California, Los Angeles, was announced concurrently.

In addition to capital and expertise, researchers also gain access to Evotec’s drug discovery and development platforms. Autobahn has the option to move successful companies towards a series A round led by Samsara BioCapital.

Andrew Whiteley, vice-president of business development and technology transfer at CSHL, said: “Autobahn has the ability to get involved early, put their resources into CSHL’s drug discovery programmes, and generate a pipeline of highly investable spinout companies.

“This collaboration will enable us to advance our basic biology expertise more quickly from the lab to the clinic.

“CSHL welcomes Autobahn’s innovative funding model as part of our high-value business development strategies for early-stage translational opportunities.”