Arctoris launches BioTarget 2020 competition to support innovation in emerging biotech companies


Arctoris Ltd, an Oxford-based company that operates the world’s first fully automated drug discovery platform, has announced the 2nd edition of BioTarget, a global business competition for drug discovery entrepreneurs. BioTarget 2020 is now open for applications.

BioTarget is a non-profit initiative, sponsored by Arctoris Ltd and leading investment management firm Baillie Gifford, and is directed at identifying and supporting emerging biotech companies dedicated to innovation within drug discovery. As the main organiser, Arctoris awards a total of more than $150,000 worth of free experiments on its robotic platform to the winners selected by a world-class panel of thought-leaders in drug discovery. Companies are invited to apply online by 24 May 2020. The eight most promising applicants – based on scientific quality, progress to date, and clinical need – will be selected to compete for three prizes in a final pitch event to be held in Boston, MA, on 15 June 2020. Importantly, application to BioTarget 2020 is entirely free of charge – including the trip to Boston for the eight finalists.

“Arctoris launches BioTarget 2020 competition to support innovation in emerging biotech companies “

Martin-Immanuel Bittner MD DPhil, CEO and Co-Founder of Arctoris, explains, “BioTarget 2020 is directed at early-stage ventures aiming to develop new molecules for drug discovery. Arctoris is proud to be a founder of this unique competition that supports the global endeavour to discover new drugs and help bring them to market faster. BioTarget 2020 also aims to raise awareness of entrepreneurship and innovation amongst scientists, allowing them to showcase their innovations to a great audience, gain feedback from thought-leaders in the field, and meet and learn from leading biotech investors and industry professionals who can help to move ideas forward.”

BioTarget 2020 builds on the success of last year’s event, which was supported by CRUK and met with overwhelming interest from biotech companies around the world. Last year’s winners were Arjuna Therapeutics, SpyCombinator and CDK11B. Given the popularity of the competition and a desire to scale BioTarget further, this year the finale will take place in Boston, home to a unique density of biotech companies.

BioTarget 2020 is open to anyone in any discipline with a drive to characterise or validate a drug target using cell-based, molecular biology or biochemical assays. Applicants can include clinicians, software engineers, postdoctoral researchers, established professors, entrepreneurs running a virtual biotech company or even undergraduate students - it’s the quality of the idea that counts and not the position.

The winners will be awarded access to free experimentation (worth up to $100,000 for the first prize) conducted on Arctoris' fully-automated research platform, including cell-based, molecular biology and biochemical assays. The high-quality and reproducible data generated will help the winners advance their ideas to the next milestone. More information can be found at

In addition to free experimentation, the three winners will also benefit from advice from BioTarget's business support partners. This means IP training and hands-on business mentoring from experienced entrepreneurs and executives, and access to a network of leading bio-entrepreneurs and investors.

For more information on BioTarget 2020, visit #BioTarget2020

About Arctoris Ltd

Arctoris Ltd is an Oxford-based research company that is revolutionising drug discovery for biotechnology companies, pharmaceutical corporations and academic centres. Arctoris has established the world's first fully automated drug discovery platform, offering pre-optimised and fully validated R&D processes for its partners and customers globally. Accessible remotely, the platform provides on-demand access to a wide range of biochemical, cell-based and molecular biology assays conducted by robotics, enabling rapid, informed decision-making in basic biology, target validation, toxicology and phenotypic screening. These assay capabilities are accessed using a powerful online portal that streamlines experiment planning, ordering, tracking and data analysis. Thanks to the Arctoris platform, customers can rapidly, accurately and cost-effectively perform their research and advance their drug discovery programmes.

About Baillie Gifford & Co Ltd

Baillie Gifford & Co Ltd is one of the world’s leading investment management firms. The firm offers portfolio management, consulting, financial planning, and investment supervisory services, as well as manages equity and bond portfolios, serving clients worldwide. Baillie Gifford was founded in Edinburgh in 1908 and still has its headquarters in the city. The firm has assets of ca. $270 billion under management and advice. Some of its top holdings are Alibaba, Amazon, Illumina, Tesla Motors, and Alphabet.

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