Business briefs: Macfarlane | BioCity | Condies | Clintec

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PACKAGING firm Macfarlane has enjoyed an “encouraging” performance since the start of its new financial year, with demand from internet retailers driving a 2 per cent rise in distribution revenues.

Although the Glasgow-based group said revenues at its manufacturing arm were down slightly, margins have improved compared with last year.

With the UK economy remaining weak, chairman Graeme Bissett said the firm was targeting areas such as internet retailing and resealable labels “where we have good sales momentum and which display real growth potential”.

• Biocity, the group that turned the former Merck drugs factory in Lanarkshire into an incubator centre for life science firms, is to open a third site.

The company is opening an incubation centre at Alderley Park in Cheshire, from where drugs giant AstraZeneca will withdraw by 2016 with the loss or relocation of 2,000 jobs.

Three businesses are already moving into the facility, which will give them access to laboratories, meeting rooms and a restaurant.

BioCity opened its first site, in Nottingham, in a former Boots factory in 2003.

• Accountancy firm Condies has launched a dedicated business recovery division aimed at corporate and personal clients.

Condies Business Recovery and Insolvency – formed as a limited company – is headed by Scott Bastick, Graeme Mackay and Shona Maxwell. Between them, the three have more than 40 years’ experience in dealing with insolvency and debt-related matters.

George Primrose, head of Condies, which is based in Edinburgh and Dunfermline, said: “I have worked closely with Graeme over a number of years.”

• Clintec, the Glasgow-based clinical research organisation (CRO), has teamed up with Edinburgh Napier University to offer a master of science degree in “international clinical research and technology”.

The course, which claims to be the first in the UK to have the backing of a CRO, is designed for staff already working in the life sciences industry and so will be offered over the internet on a part-time basis.

Academics from Napier and scientists from Clintec will teach on the course, which is scheduled to begin later this month.

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