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


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 EST includes Scotland's first dedicated national biomanufacturing campus, Biocampus. Although Scotland has a successful cGMP biomanufacturing community, with Intercell Biomedical (, Millipore (, BioReliance (, and Avecia ( located there, Biocampus further reinforces Scotland's position as a leader in this field. There are several hundred life sciences companies in Scotland, and this science park offers them, as well as international companies, an integrated environment that is fully operational for advanced cGMP biomanufacturing. Equally advantageous is Biocampus's close proximity to three of the world's top five cell culture media manufacturers: Invitrogen (Scotland) (, Sigma-Aldrich (Scotland) (, and Hyclone (Northumberland) (

Overall, active collaborations will be essential in advancing scientific discoveries and helping them become applicable to the real world. With such a broad range of science parks, each with unique specializations and a global reputation, the EST is an optimal resource for international companies and research institutes interested in advancing scientific discovery.

Edinburgh is well on its way to becoming one of the top ten cities of science and technology excellence in Europe and, with the help of the EST, will continue leading innovation in the twenty-first century.

Western Promise

Scotland's life sciences industry is rapidly becoming one of the country's economic powerhouses, comparable to anywhere in the world.

In the West of Scotland in particular, there is a noticeable effort to make sure that every last drop of benefit can be extracted from the not-inconsiderable talent and enterprise available. The area is home to around 180 life sciences and related companies, ranging from major pharmaceuticals through diagnostics, therapeutics, medical devices, contract researchers and manufacturers that are jointly responsible for the employment of over 8,000 people.

Add to this the fact that there are four high-quality universities in the West of Scotland and a number of highly respected research institutes supporting in excess of 2,800 life sciences researchers in a variety of fields, and you begin to appreciate that there's a great deal happening here.

The Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, a part of the University of Glasgow ( and headed by respected cancer specialist Professor Karen Vousden, is a case in point. It will benefit from a multimillion dollar expansion program this year, housing 240 cancer researchers and providing research facilities.

Similarly, the Glasgow Biomedical Research Center ( houses 300 scientists in 35 internationally recognized research groups. Led by renowned immunology expert Professor Eddy Liew, the research and development capability of the center is unsurpassed in Scotland.

As well as numerous examples of home-grown talent, many scientists at the cutting edge of research have come here from Europe and beyond, including Professor Massimo Palmarini, from Italy, whose ground-breaking work with retroviruses in mammals has potentially massive significance for AIDS and certain types of leukemia in humans.

Commercially, the West of Scotland goes from strength to strength. Scottish Biomedical (, a Glasgow-based preclinical drug discovery organization, entered into a research collaboration earlier this year with South Korean pharmaceutical company, Chong Kun Dang ( The collaboration focuses on the development of a new diabetes drug.

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