Centers of Excellence - A spotlight on the areas of Scotland which have become the hub of life sciences activity in recent years - BioPharm International

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Centers of Excellence
A spotlight on the areas of Scotland which have become the hub of life sciences activity in recent years

BioPharm International


The industry is very much led by research, and Dundee in particular has achieved an international reputation as a center of research and development expertise, due to the activities within the academic research base—The Universities of Dundee ( http://www.dundee.ac.uk/) and Abertay Dundee ( http://www.abertay.ac.uk/), and the Scottish Crop Research Institute ( http://www.scri.sari.ac.uk/). The research institutes combined attract more than $95 million in research and commercial income annually.

The University of Dundee currently hosts 3 of the UK's top 20 scientists. The School of Life Sciences supports 720 research and support staff from 50 countries and includes two Royal Society Research Professors and seven Fellows of the Royal Society.

Over the past five years, the principal investigators in the School of Life Sciences have been awarded research grants totaling over $190 million, and the School's research income from external sources was approximately $45 million in 2005, placing it among the top five science departments in UK universities.

The Division of Signal Transduction Therapy (DSTT) houses one of the strongest biomedical science research facilities in Europe, with a large critical mass of scientists working in the field of Signal Transduction Research. Established in 1998, the consortium was renewed in 2003 with six pharmaceutical companies: Pfizer ( http://www.pfizer.com/), GlaxoSmithKline ( http://www.gsk.com/), Astra Zeneca ( http://www.astrazeneca.co.uk/), Merck KgaA ( http://www.merck.de/), Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH ( http://www.boehringer-ingelheim.com/), and Merck Sharpe & Dohme ( http://www.merck.com/) and the Medical Research Council ( http://www.mrc.ac.uk/). This second phase gives funding of approximately $28 million over the next five years and is the largest research collaboration between the pharmaceutical industry and a British university. This collaboration has also supported the development of the Sir James Black Center. Opened in June 2006 by Nobel Laureate Professor Sydney Brenner, the $40-million Sir James Black Center provides state-of-the-art facilities for 180 new scientists focusing on applied research in disease areas of commercial interest including diabetes, tropical medicine, and drug discovery.

Further developments at the University of Dundee include the Clinical Research Center, a $22-million joint venture between the School of Medicine and NHS Tayside, for patient-based studies and translational research, and the TMRC Research Laboratory, acting as a national resource for supporting innovative scientific developments in Scotland's clinical research base.

Dundee is home to some of Scotland's most promising life sciences companies. Cyclacel ( http://www.cyclacel.com/) is Scotland's only indigenous life sciences company to trade on NASDAQ after raising more than $100 million in private equity. Axis-Shield ( http://www.axis-shield.com/) is Scotland's largest indigenous life sciences company, currently valued at $300 million and employing more than 400 scientists globally. Upstate ( http://www.up-state.com/) located its European heaquarters in Dundee before becoming part of Serologicals Corporation and subsequently Millipore ( http://www.millipore.com/).

Dundee accommodates the majority of its core life sciences companies across three purpose-built locations. Dundee Technology Park currently accommodates eight core life sciences companies including Millipore, Axis Shield, and IDMoS.

The Medipark is a new 25-acre site within the campus of Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, and gives innovative companies the opportunity to draw upon resources and facilities from Ninewells Hospital and Medical School. The University of Dundee opened its new incubator facility in the Technopole in the year 2005.


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