Innovations at the Institute
Key to Karolinska Development’s operation is its close relationship with Karolinska Institutet Innovations (KIAB), which is owned by a holding company established by the Karolinska Institutet. KIAB essentially screens new opportunities to assess their scientific validity and commercial potential, and gives Karolinska Development first rights to invest in the most promising innovations identified.
Operating as an umbrella organization to support the progress of new ideas, KIAB has already evaluated over 1,000 new projects from a hub of 10 universities from the Nordic countries, providing what it believes represents a unique deal flow from these universities.
“KIAB essentially acts as a comprehensive incubator, evaluating, validating, and helping to patent new technologies and managing the new companies,” Dr. Bogentoft explains. “Karolinska Development’s relationship with KIAB means it rarely has to seek out new opportunities for investment, and although not all its portfolio companies are selected from the KIAB pot, the ability to cherry-pick from a pool of the most promising, scientifically elegant, and commercially viable developments significantly helps reduce attrition rate at all stages.”
Karolinska Development also has its own drug discovery company, Actar, based on the Karolinska Institutet campus in Stockholm. Actar works with academic researchers to help discover and validate drug candidates against new targets, which could either form the basis of a new company or be licensed out to big pharma.