New Czech biotech incubator
Brno - Spinning out a company in the Czech Republic is far from common. That has not stopped Jiri Damborsky, who led a protein engineering group at Masaryk University, Brno, from founding his own company, Enantis. His firm will be one of the first to settle in a new biotech incubator that is under construction on the new Masaryk University campus. The incubator is to be fully operational in 2008 and will have capacity for about 30 companies, according to Michal Kostak, biotech sector manager with the South Moravian Innovation Centre, Brno.
The centre is already coaching about ten projects from the area. Czech development authorities are hoping that more university researchers will follow Damborsky's example, helping turn Brno into an emerging biotech hub. According to the development agency Czechinvest some 120 biotech companies are spread between Brno, Prague, Hradec Králové as well as in Nové Hrady near the Austrian border.
Among the better-known companies are IQA, a Prague-based firm that focuses on cancer and HIV drugs, and Exbio that manufactures antibodies and carries out contract research on recombinant proteins and antibodies.