Southern Research this week expanded its efforts to encourage the growth of the biotech industry in Birmingham by opening its Station 41 biotech incubator.
The incubator is a part of Southern Research’s Station 41 biotech commercialization hub, which also includes the Accelerator, the Venture Studio and the Therapeutics Development Fund, which all exist to help biotech startups with funding, expertise and resources, according to an announcement released by Southern Research.
“Opening Station 41 marks another great stride in making Birmingham the premier biotech commercialization hub of the Southeast,” said UAB President Ray L. Watts. “Here we will nurture local innovation and entrepreneurs and attract new businesses and talent to our region, helping make Birmingham and Alabama all the more competitive in the 21st century global economy.”
The incubator is in a newly renovated space on Southern Research’s campus on Southside. It provides startups with wet lab space and office space, shared lab equipment and services to support their growth. Companies in the incubator also have access to Southern Research screening facilities, and they are able to connect with staff experts who can help them move their product forward.
“In the past, Birmingham has lost companies and jobs to other markets because we did not have available commercial wet lab space,” said Josh Carpenter, Ph.D.,CEO of Southern Research. “With this incubator, we are beginning to meet this need. Under the same roof, we are also providing early-stage biotech and pharma companies with unique access to our renowned drug discovery and development capabilities here at Southern Research.”
The incubator has space for 12 companies, and incubator leaders are targeting companies involved in treating and diagnosing diseases — especially those aligned with Southern Research’s core focus areas, which include cancer, infectious diseases and chronic diseases. Four companies have moved into the space, and incubator leaders expect to fill it within the year.