Glasgow drug firm Biopta bought for £5.5m

Glasgow-based Biopta has been bought by Japan's Reprocell. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Glasgow-based Biopta has been bought by Japan's Reprocell. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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Biopta, a drug development firm spun out of Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU), has been acquired by a Japanese group for about £5.5 million.

Yokohama-based Reprocell, a specialist in the development of stem cell technologies, said it was buying the company to strengthen the drug discovery aspect of its business.

Biopta, which employs 18 people and is led by chief executive and co-founder David Bunton, uses human tissue in pre-clinical studies for major pharmaceutical companies in Europe, Japan and North America. Investors in the firm, founded in 2002, included Braveheart Investment Group, Tri Cap and Scottish Enterprise’s Scottish Co-investment Fund.

Reprocell said: “Biopta has a solid customer base, boasting successful dealings with eight of the top ten ‘big pharma’ companies in terms of sales.

“The company also manages a number of collaborative service development projects via its pharmaceutical industry and academic partners, with a strong focus on precision medicine, where the use of human tissues is of high importance. This will allow our company to increase our market share by expanding our line-up of drug discovery support products aimed at pharmaceutical manufacturers, as well as enabling us to better grasp the latest needs and trends in the field of drug discovery.”

Biopta’s services include tests using its proprietary PM-1 instrument, developed using technology spun out from the Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at GCU. The patented system allows automated analysis of the behaviour of living tissues as they respond to test drugs and was developed in collaboration with Wideblue in Dumbarton.