Autobahn Labs and UCSF Announce Strategic Drug Discovery Collaboration


  • Collaboration will advance UCSF discoveries to patients
  • Autobahn Labs and UCSF will establish new ventures for drug discovery and development


Palo Alto and San Francisco, CA, USA, 21 December, 2020:
Autobahn Labs, a virtual incubator partnering with top academic and research institutions to catalyze early-stage drug discovery and development, today announced a strategic collaboration with the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). The organizations will partner to identify promising early science with significant therapeutic potential, forming jointly owned ventures to accelerate the translation of scientific ideas to novel therapeutics.

"UCSF combines world-class medicine, cutting-edge research, and a strong track record of innovation in drug discovery," said Thomas Novak, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of Autobahn Labs. "We're excited to partner their great science with Autobahn Labs' resources and capabilities to spark the development of meaningful new therapies for patients."

"The goal of Innovation Ventures is to help UCSF faculty and students transition their innovations from the lab to the marketplace, where they can do the most good," said Barry Selick, PhD, vice chancellor for business development, innovation and partnerships. "Partnering with Autobahn Labs will allow us to bridge our extensive scientific expertise with their experience in drug development to get the best therapies out there quickly for patient benefit." 

The collaboration with UCSF is the second partnership announced by Autobahn Labs since the organization's launch in June 2020, and expands the reach of the innovative partnership between Samsara BioCapital and Evotec. Samsara conceived of the unique investment model to systematically identify and build investible companies based on cutting-edge academic discoveries. The firm found a natural partner in Evotec, a company with an established track record of translating early-stage academic research to drug discovery and development through its "BRIDGE" (Biomedical Research, Innovation & Development Generation Efficiency) program. The Autobahn Labs model provides Principal Investigators with scientific and operational strategy, direct and immediate access to Evotec's state-of-the-art drug discovery and development technologies and capabilities, and an investor syndicate with deep therapeutic expertise.

"As a virtual incubator for academic life science projects, Autobahn Labs is all about innovation efficiency," said Dr. Werner Lanthaler, CEO of Evotec SE. "With UCSF we welcome another top-tier academic institution to Autobahn Labs. By providing direct access to both our leading drug discovery and development platform as well as substantial funding, we are confident that Autobahn Labs will kick start early-stage innovation out of academia through jointly owned new ventures."

"We are thrilled to have this opportunity to bring UCSF's renowned faculty together with Evotec's sophisticated drug discovery infrastructure and expertise as well as an experienced network of drug developers and investors. UCSF has a wealth of compelling early-stage programs that we look forward to developing in close collaboration with their researchers," said Michelle Kim-Danely, PhD, SVP of Operations for Autobahn Labs. 


Please follow this link for the full version of Autobah Labs' press release.


About Autobahn Labs

Autobahn Labs is a virtual incubator for early-stage drug discovery and development, partnering with leading research institutions to accelerate the advancement of novel science to deliver transformational new therapies for patients. The organization invests intellectual, financial and physical capital, applying a proven drug discovery framework to efficiently and effectively move projects from feasibility to novel drug candidates. Autobahn Labs was created by Samsara BioCapital, a leading life sciences venture capital firm, Evotec, a global leader in drug discovery research which provides Autobahn Labs partner companies with access to more than 3,000 scientists globally, and KCK Ltd, a family investment fund. For more information, visit


About Evotec's BRIDGE model: Partnering to accelerate innovation

Evotec has created a new paradigm to translate early-stage academic research to drug discovery and development called "BRIDGE" (Biomedical Research, Innovation & Development Generation Efficiency), an integrated fund and award framework to tap into exciting academic science to accelerate the formation of spin-out companies and generate partnerships with Pharma and biotech. Through these efforts, Evotec has defined a new formula for fast-track early-stage drug discovery. Since the launch of the BRIDGE model in 2016, Evotec has formed and funded seven partnerships, termed LAB282, LAB150, LAB591, LAB031, LAB10x, LAB555 and Autobahn Labs. For more information about Evotec's BRIDGE initiatives, visit


About UCSF

The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is exclusively focused on the health sciences and is dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes UCSF Health, which comprises three top-ranked hospitals, as well as affiliations throughout the Bay Area. For more information, visit