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Scottish Scientists Lead This Year's Life Science Discoveries

CHICAGO, April 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Since January, Scotland has announced significant progress on several major life science discoveries slated to treat life-threatening diseases such as cancer, HIV and leukemia.

Scotland offers the UK's fastest R&D approval times and already ranks as the leading UK region for R&D investment, according to data from Ernst & Young. With industry challenges on the rise, Scotland continues to rely on its renowned R&D capabilities to generate sector growth.

To showcase their latest discoveries, 20 of Scotland's leading life science companies and research organizations are accompanying Scottish Development International, the country's economic development agency, at the 2013 BIO International Convention, April 22-25.

"Scotland continues to attract major investments from some of the world's leading life sciences companies including GlaxoSmithKline and LifeScan, further strengthening Scotland's position as a key cluster for life sciences innovation," notes Danny Cusick , President, Americas, of Scottish Development International.

Today, Scotland's BioOutsource, a global leader in the biological analysis of biosimilar molecules for the biopharmaceutical industry, announced its first facility opening in the U.S. To be based in Cambridge, Massachusetts the company believes the expansion will link Scotland's strong life science services to Boston's growing venture capital landscape.

In February, the University of Dundee and incubator campus, BioCity Scotland, won a project worth $128 million to discover new drug treatments—marking the biggest investment of its kind in Scotland from the European Innovative Medicines Initiative.

One month later, Dundee Cancer Center announced a new way to kill cancer cells in people with one of the most common forms of leukemia. Another Scottish company transforming the future treatment of cancer is VIRTTU, the first company allowed by the FDA to trial an oncolytic therapy in children, who has announced plans to assist in an upcoming pediatric brain tumor trial led by Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

Other Scottish organizations making developments include the University of Aberdeen, which was awarded $2 million in funding this February to research anti-cancer drugs utilizing shark immune system research and The University of Edinburgh, which received $26 million this month to research regenerative medicine for incurable conditions.

Scotland's recent R&D achievements have occurred alongside major company growth as well. Edinburgh BioQuarter, part of Europe's fastest-growing academic medical center, grew by more than a third in January alone thanks to new research tenants. Just this month, U.S. medical device company Daktari Diagnostics Inc. announced their decision to invest in Scotland to produce its latest HIV blood monitoring technology.

"Scotland's life science legacy boasts innovations such as the pioneering of stem-cell treatments to cure blindness and groundbreaking work to eradicate disease-carrying tsetse flies," says Cusick. "With this reputation for excellence, we feel confident that our recent R&D announcements will spur positive investment."

Home to 650+ life sciences organizations and more than 32,000 industry employees, Scotland seeks to target additional partnership and investment opportunities from North America to bolster their rapidly growing industry.

Media Contact: Rebecca Gehman ,, 973-800-3306

Notes to Editors:

Scottish Development International (SDI) is a partnership between the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. SDI helps overseas businesses tap into Scotland's key strengths in knowledge, high level skills, technology and innovation. SDI also works to help Scottish companies do more business overseas and to promote Scotland as a good place to live and work. Its work is guided by the Scottish Government's strategy for economic development in Scotland.

SOURCE Scottish Development International
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