A FURTHER two companies have taken space at Edinburgh BioQuarter as Scotland’s flagship science park bounces back from an American property developer reducing its involvement with the project.
MV Diagnostics, which makes medical testing kits for goats and sheep, and drug discovery outfit TPP Global Development are each taking space in Nine, the “bio-incubator centre” built at the science park by Scottish Enterprise.
The original plan was for California-based science park developer Alexandria Real Estate Equities to construct and run the £24 million building, but the firm scaled back its overseas work in 2008 after the global financial crisis.
Scottish Enterprise and the UK government’s Department for Business stepped in to fund the construction of the centre in a 50-50 joint venture.
Fios Genomics, which analyses data to help scientists develop drugs, became the first tenant for Nine in February when it moved to the site from the technology transfer centre at Edinburgh University’s King’s Buildings.
Alexandria still has options to develop other land around the £600m BioQuarter near neighbouring developments such as Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, the university’s medical school and the newly opened Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine.
TPP, which was set up in 2010 by former Morgan Stanley fund manager Peter Trill and Oxford University scientist Dr Tom Brown, raised £9.6m from private equity investors, including £2m from Scottish Enterprise’s venture fund, to fund its partnerships with university researchers.
At the time, the firm – which received a £200,000 regional selective assistance grant from the Scottish Government to set up north of the Border – signalled its intention to be based at the BioQuarter, but has used offices in the city centre while it has waited for the incubator centre to be completed.
Trill told Scotland on Sunday: “The economic environment generally has been tough but there’s no doubt in my mind that the BioQuarter will be a success. There’s the right kind of commitment level right across the board to make it work.
“We wouldn’t be moving out there if we didn’t think it was a good place to be. If we’re taking the decision then I think other people will as well.
“Creating a cluster of companies at the BioQuarter means we will meet more people involved in the industry and could form interesting new projects together.”
Rhona Allison, senior director for life sciences at Scottish Enterprise, said: “We are pleased to welcome TPP and MV Diagnostics to the growing number of companies choosing to locate at Edinburgh BioQuarter. BioQuarter is rapidly developing into a leading European centre. We look forward to further companies in the months ahead.”
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