AvantiCell joins with Italian partner for training project

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An AYRSHIRE biotech company has been selected to take part in a major European project to train young scientists in advanced techniques – and teach them the skills to bring their science to market.

The four-year deal has been awarded to AvantiCell Science, which is based near Ayr, by the European Commission’s science and technology programme as part of a drive to identify and nurture the next generation of ground-breaking scientists.

The firm – a key player in a current European project that aims to create an artificial pancreas – will team up with a partner organisation in Pisa, Italy, to provide in-depth training for the young scientists in advanced human cell culture.

Dr Colin Wilde, one of the founders of AvantiCell, which employs 15 people at Auchincruive, said: “These young people will undertake PhD work with us and gain valuable experience of next generation science in a trans-European context.

“Initially, two students will work with us for 18 months and two with our partners at the Italian National Research Council in Pisa, then they will change places, so that each will gain three years of first-class expertise.”

The Scots firm has gained an international reputation for its contribution to the understanding of primary cells of human origin and its use of proprietary technologies to mimic their physiological functions.

It has established a niche market in China, Malaysia and, most recently, in Japan.