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p01 the quarterly newsletter from Edinburgh BioQuarter W:

Critical Mass This quarter, we’re delighted to announce the opening of our new incubator building, Nine The BioQuarter, and new tenants for that building; the winners of our 2012 Innovation Competition, and a new collaboration with Galapagos NV. We’re also delighted to announce new Executive Directors at FibroMed, one of our incubating companies which creates hepatocytes from stell cells for drug development. We’ll be rebranding BioQuarter in the months ahead and looking for more opportunities to communicate our messages to the global life sciences industry over the next year with the goal of attracting more partners and collaborators. To find out more about what’s happening at BioQuarter you can follow us on Twitter @EdinburghBQ, or log on to our website at

Mike Capaldi Director, Edinburgh BioQuarter

Queens’ Medical Research Institute, 47 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh EH16 4TJ

T: 0131 242 9249

Issue 05

summer 2012


Tissuestik takes first prize! Tissuestik, a new concept for protecting human tissue samples from cross-contamination in laboratories, has won the £10,000 first prize in the BioQuarter Innovation Competition 2012. Created by Mike Millar and Sheila Macpherson of the University of Edinburgh’s Queen’s Medical Research Institute, Tissuestik addresses two of the biggest challenges experienced by scientists in the management of human tissue samples: ease of handling and cross-contamination with other samples.

has been created by Mark Hughes, a trainee neurosurgeon and clinical lecturer in neurosurgery, and Liana Romaniuk, a medical student with industrial experience as a computer programmer.

Flights, a novel treatment for a gynaecological condition developed by Dr Jacqueline “Human tissue samples vary Maybin, won third prize in widely in their size and shape, the competition, with special and current methods of handling commendations going to tissue put samples at risk of cross- finalists Jonathan Wraight contamination from other samples. for his Intravenous Cannulas This can result in patients being device, and Rory McMahon at risk of misdiagnosis and for Electrosole, an orthapedic in some cases unnecessary diagnostic device. surgery”, said Mike Millar, cocreator of Tissuestik. “Our Dr John Brown CBE FRSE, proposal makes sample handling Chair of the panel of judges, easier and dramatically reduces said: “This was a tough decision, contamination risk. It can also especially between the top two be easily used in any pathology entries in the competition. I’m laboratory setting, and will have a particularly encouraged by the relatively low development cost.” quality of applications we’ve seen this year, from lab tools to Pre<Optimise, a concept based software, new uses for existing on gaming technology to allow drugs and medical devices – surgeons to warm up prior to all of which speaks to the range operations, won second prize in of scientific talents here in the competition. Pre<Optimise Edinburgh.”

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First BioQuarter/ SCRM Regenerative Medicine Conference

25th September Please join us at Edinburgh BioQuarter on Tuesday September 25th, 2012 for a day of discussion between industry colleagues designed to offer fresh perspectives on the challenges we face in developing therapies for regenerative medicine. The programme will involve presentations from a number of industry leaders on a range of topics concerned with translating science into therapeutic and commercial opportunities, as well as taking time out for a networking lunch. Our day will end with a cocktail reception in the new Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine. For interested parties, this meeting will be run jointly with the ATMP (Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products) manufacturing community which will be holding its third annual meeting at the same venue the following day on Wednesday 26th September, offering you the opportunity to attend both conferences for the price of one air-fare.

Mike Millar and Sheila Macpherson of Tissuestik accept their award

Registration is required by 1 September 2012. You can register on-line here

Contact us

p02 the quarterly newsletter from Edinburgh BioQuarter W:

T: 0131 242 9249

Issue 05

summer 2012

Princess gives Royal seal to two new buildings at BioQuarter

The University of Edinburgh’s Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine will carry out cuttingedge stem cell research to help find therapies for patients with conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, and heart and liver diseases. The centre is the first large-scale, purpose-built facility of its kind and provides accommodation for up to 250 stem cell scientists. The centre, funded by the University of Edinburgh, Scottish Enterprise, the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the British Heart Foundation through its Mending Broken Hearts Appeal, was opened by the Princess Royal in her role as Chancellor of the University. It includes the most up-to-date facilities in the UK, which meet the strictest guidelines, to manufacture stem cell lines that could be used for patient therapies.

Nine, which has been jointly funded by Scottish Enterprise and the UK Government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, provides 85,000 square feet of laboratory and office space for both established biotechnology

Together, these new facilities represent the start of a new phase in BioQuarter’s development. The continued expansion of academic medical facilities and teaching hospitals promises to create one of Europe’s leading centres for translational medicine in the years ahead. Professor Charles ffrenchConstant, Director of the Medical

New Collaboration with Galapagos for drug discovery Edinburgh BioQuarter has completed negotiations for a collaborative partnership between academics and Galapagos NV, a Belgian clinical stage biotech company focused on developing medicines targeting novel, proprietary modes of action.

“The continued expansion of academic medical facilities and teaching hospitals promises to create one of Europe’s leading centres for translational medicine in the years ahead.” companies and start-up ventures. These could include potential spinout companies from the University of Edinburgh.

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New tenants for Nine, The BioQuarter at Official Opening Edinburgh’s BioQuarter took another positive step forward when Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, opened the £54 million Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine (SCRM) and £24 million bioincubator facility, Nine, at our site on 28th May.

locate at BioQuarter

The partnership, initially for two years with a view to developing a longer-term collaboration, will provide Galapagos with insight into the mechanism of action of particular compounds, information which is critical in improving the effectiveness of those compounds in combating various forms of cancer. “Working with our team, Galapagos will be able to access a wide range of advanced cancer models and technical capabilities established within the Edinburgh Cancer Discovery Unit, as well as the team’s outstanding knowledge and expertise”, said Dr Neil Carragher, Principal Investigator at the Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre. Seal of approval: Princess Anne opens the new facilities

Research Council Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the SCRM and Chair of Medical Neurology at the University of Edinburgh, said: “Recent research into stem cells has heralded the beginning of a revolution in modern medicine. The Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine’s great strength lies in bringing worldclass clinicians and scientists

to work together, encouraging the translation of laboratory discoveries into treatments for patients. The research will help in finding treatments for devastating conditions for which there are currently no cures.” More about the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine

“This new partnership with Galapagos demonstrates industry’s growing awareness of the depth of world-class research being undertaken here in Edinburgh.”

Dr Mike Capaldi said: “Following on from the collaborative agreement with GSK at the end of 2011, this new partnership with Galapagos demonstrates industry’s growing awareness of the depth of world-class research being undertaken here in Edinburgh.”

Edinburgh BioQuarter Newsletter 05 | Summer 2012  

The Quarterly Newsletter from Edinburgh BioQuarter. Summer 2012 issue

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