Ithaka Life Sciences - Blog

Ithaka Life Sciences Ltd (Ithaka) is a provider of business advisory and interim management services to the life sciences sector.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Ximbio….a win/win/win for Life Science researchers, Institutes and Companies

As part of my interest in drug discovery and research reagent tools I came across an intriguing business model at the end of last year that caught my eye. 

Derived from the word symbiosis, Ximbio originates from Cancer Research Technology (CRT), the development and commercialisation arm of Cancer Research UK. Aiming to fundamentally change the way that reagents are searched, sourced and shared, the Company provides a unique on-line portal to exchange knowledge and share reagents. 

For scientists, it provides a fully searchable and extensive database of reagents. Life Science Companies benefit by easily being able to source new products and build their portfolios by a straightforward commercialisation process. Technology transfer offices also gain since they can access a streamlined process for bringing their reagents to a broader research audience resulting in a revenue-sharing model between the Institution and CRT.

I met-up in January with Dr Mandeep Sehmi who is Ximbio’s Business Development Manager at the Company’s offices in Islington, London. She explained that their team (Headed by Melanie Hardman) is building on CRT’s excellent track-record, having signed over 700 agreements in the last 20 years. The Ximbio rebranding launched in October last year enabled them to expand their reagent portfolio not only for cancer, but also for other disease and research areas as well. The Ximbio portal is already proving of real interest to their stakeholder targets and the ‘community-based’ model is positioned clearly apart from other reagent portals. 

Another novel aspect of their business model is that they offer portfolio management services to global technology transfer offices. This leverages partnerships that Ximbio already have in place with over 200 Companies with global visibility enhancing a share of product based revenues back to the depositing Institute. Another benefit is that scientists are tagged to the reagents that they have created and deposited, helping to raise their profile; this linkage often gets lost during the commercialisation process. Mandeep explained that future plans include not only expansion of the portfolio and the number of academic Institutions but provision of unbiased peer reviews to help researchers source the novel products. 

Ximbio are planning to build and validate their business in a controlled way by maintaining a clear focus on the needs of the research community. If it is possible to have a win/win/win for researchers, Institutes and Companies, Ximbio seems well on the path to delivering this.

(For more information please check-out:

Richard Cumming PhD, Ithaka Life Sciences


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