12:00 AM
Jan 06, 2011
 |  BC Innovations  |  Strategy

LU Bio: Swedish hybrid

Lund University Bioscience AB is not a typical investment company or VC.

As a kind of hybrid between a company, an incubator and a VC, LU Bio seeks out technology with commercial potential from academic institutions all over Sweden, providing management for startup companies and outsourcing everything else.

Indeed, unlike most investment companies with university-derived names, LU Bio isn't even tied exclusively to Lund University-a situation that is the result of Swedish IP law, under which scientific inventions are owned by individual researchers, not their academic institutions.

Still, LU Bio does maintain close ties with Lund University. It was founded in 2008 by the university and collaborates with Lund's technology transfer office (TTO), LU Innovation, to commercialize the university's science.

According to LU Bio CEO Thomas Andersson, formerly an investment manager at Karolinska Development AB, LU Bio has the right of first refusal on science coming from LU Innovation.

But it also hunts elsewhere.

Although LU Bio prefers to collaborate with the local TTO whenever possible-for instance, to gain access to a database of researchers-the company doesn't rely on TTOs to provide LU Bio with potential leads, Andersson said. Swedish IP law allows LU Bio to interact directly with-and even seek out-researchers at Lund and other institutions in the country.

LU Bio's first step in identifying promising science is to conduct one-on-one meetings with researchers. Ideally this is done under confidentiality agreements before they have published their findings, Andersson said.

From these meetings, LU Bio selects promising projects for further evaluation. This could include...

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