As part of the Danish innovation infrastructure, the national innovation network Biopeople has operated since 2005 from universities and university hospitals in Copenhagen, Aarhus and Aalborg.
Based on the national focus on personalised medicine the network provides a framework for knowledge sharing, matchmaking and collaboration between research groups at hospitals and universities and the research based bio- and life-science industry. Among other activities, this has resulted in working groups relating to personalised medicine, autoimmune diseases, bio imaging, x-omics and clinical research. Through membership of about 100 life-science companies Biopeople has a close connection to the Danish life science community, offering members to participate, co-organise or present at Biopeoples’ events.
Exposure and financial incentives
Biopeople continually focus on the exposure of small and medium sized life science companies and is happy to publish news about activities and the companies’ latest results in its newsletter, at the website and social media like LinkedIn. Biopeople participates in several EU projects including the recent Boost4Health project. These projects have offered an international network of expertise and minor financial incentives, to help Danish life science companies explore their international growth potential.
The story about GlycoDisplay
GlycoDisplay, a spinout company from the Danish National Research Foundation Excellence Center, Center for Glycomics at the University of Copenhagen, is an example of a company that Biopeople have supported through exposure. Biopeople published news about GlycoDisplay in 2016 before the company was even established, and again when it moved into the 10th floor at the bright new Maersk Tower, University of Copenhagen, in 2017.
GlycoDisplay initially offered its technology – to modify sugar structures on glyco proteins – to the pharmaceutical industry for the development of new medicines. Now three years after the establishment, the company, supported by Innovationsfonden, has identified a new concept, Long-Acting Glycodesign (LAGD), to improve enzymes for the treatment of rare genetic lysosomal diseases. In spring 2019 GlycoDisplay, together with researchers at the University of Copenhagen, published the first results of the LAGD concept for the treatment of Fabry disease in Nature Communications.
Relevant target group
”The collaboration with Biopeople has from the very first day been for the benefit of GlycoDisplay,” says Claus Kristensen, CEO and founder of GlycoDisplay. ”Biopeople has proven to provide a good platform for exposure when we have published new results and news as for instance the Nature Communications article in spring 2019. Coverage in Biopeoples’ newsletter has reached the desired target group. In 2018, we furthermore attended a large Boost4Health event, organised by Biopeople at the Maersk Tower. We got an opportunity to give the participants a tour of our facilities and to present GlycoDisplay for 60 Danish and international companies. The result for us was useful contacts and a new collaboration partner.”
GlycoDisplay’s technology now attracts international awareness. Most of the Company’s partner agreements are with American companies, and Weihua Tian, researcher at the University of Copenhagen and at GlycoDisplay, just received a Young Investigator Award to present the Long-Acting Glycodesign concept at WORLDSymposium 2020 in Orlando, USA. WORLDSymposium organise research within lysosomal diseases. Together with three academic groups, GlycoDisplay recently applied for a H2020 Synergy Grant, and the Company and a large European partner currently prepare a Eurostar application, which they will submit in 2020.