Scottish life science firm secures six figure investment and plans to bring 5 new jobs to Glasgow
A Glasgow-based life science firm which assists global pharmaceutical companies with the development of new drugs is to significantly expand its research and development (R&D) capabilities and call for the greater use of human tissues in drug testing after securing its second round of investment in as many years.
Biopta Ltd, which was spun-out from
Biopta uses donated, residual human tissue collected from surgery to conduct non-clinical trials on new drugs. Testing of tissues such as skin removed during cosmetic procedures is seen to be increasingly valuable in the development of new drugs. Biopta is currently working with eight of the top ten major pharmaceutical companies on human tissue research.
It can cost c$1 billion and take up to 15 years to develop a new drug. One of the major issues facing the pharmaceutical industry is the high rate of drugs failing clinical trials, with current figures estimating nine out of ten fail to reach the market 1.
Much of this failure is attributed to an over-reliance on animal testing. Many companies are now turning to Biopta’s human tissue testing techniques which can bridge the gap between animal and human testing and prove vital in developing safe and effective medicines more quickly.
Biopta has helped many of its clients halt the development of drugs at an early stage by demonstrating they are ineffective or highlighting potential safety concerns, and in doing so has saved its clients hundreds of millions of dollars in development costs.
“Many companies will simply not allow products to enter full development until they have data generated from human tissue studies and this is where Biopta can help.
“We hope to build on recent activities to bring the development of safer medicines and the availability of human tissue to the forefront of public debate, as much more can be done to make tissues widely available to all medical researchers.”
Biopta completed its last round of investment in December 2008 when it secured £900,000 from the same group of investors, and has since concentrated a lot of its efforts on establishing a clinical network to provide ethically-donated human tissues.
Biopta also aims to use part of the recent investment to raise awareness, in both the medical and political arenas, of the need for greater use of human tissues.
“With over 700,000 surgical procedures carried out in the
1. “How to improve R&D productivity: the pharmaceutical industry’s grand challenge”. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, March 2010, Volume 9.
2. “Health Check: review of CRO success” European Pharmaceutical Contractor, September 2010, issue 56.
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