Life sciences firm set for expansion at Edinburgh BioQuarter

A life sciences firm with its roots in the Roslin Institute – famous for the Dolly the Sheep clone – is preparing to open a new manufacturing facility that will create more than 50 jobs and marks “the dawn of a new era” for the firm.

Janet Downie, CEO of RoslinCT, said the firm aims to be a world-leading cell and gene therapy hub. Picture: Phil Wilkinson.

RoslinCT will open its “state-of-the-art” cell and gene therapy manufacturing centre at Edinburgh BioQuarter in the new year, saying that will more than double its capacity to deliver “game-changing” cell and gene therapies, enabling commercial scale.

The Contract Development and Manufacturing Organisation (CDMO) also said the new facility will operate to strict EU and FDA standards and will become a hub for the manufacture of “innovative” therapies and potential cures for disease for people around the world.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

RoslinCT said the expansion will see it welcome scientists and professionals from across the globe, with plans to grow a talent pool and launch a training academy onsite to upskill graduates and those arriving from other industries.

Read More

Read More
How we’re putting Edinburgh back on its feet after pandemic – Adam McVey

The firm is a spin-out from Roslin Cells, once part of the Roslin Institute, and was established to focus on highly innovative third-party cell therapy manufacturing. It became the first tenant at Nine, BioQuarter’s innovation centre, where it has grown from a headcount of 28 and will exceed 100 in 2021. Aside from an Innovate UK grant, company growth so far has been organic-led.

RoslinCT chief exective Janet Downie said: “Our new manufacturing facility at BioQuarter marks the dawn of a new era for RoslinCT. The facility fit-out is progressing well and we are looking forward to the building becoming fully operational.

"Cell and gene therapy manufacturers with the potential to bring breakthrough treatments to patients globally are making tremendous advances and delivering significant growth. Investors globally are certainly taking notice of the sector.

“We are an international business, and our vision is to be a world-leading cell and gene therapy hub. Being located at BioQuarter is important to us as it uniquely brings business and research together with one of the largest hospitals in the country.”

Partnership

BioQuarter is a partnership between City of Edinburgh Council, NHS Lothian, Scottish Enterprise and the University of Edinburgh. The 167-acre site lies three miles south of Edinburgh city centre and currently 8,000 people work and study within its boundary. Today, it comprises life sciences businesses based at Nine; Edinburgh Medical School; many of the University of Edinburgh’s medical research institutes; and the 900-bed Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

Anna Stamp, interim programme director for BioQuarter, praised news of the forthcoming facility. “Roslin CT is a company which has successfully taken root and grown here and is an exemplar of our vision for BioQuarter to [become] Edinburgh’s £1 billion health innovation district.”

Derek McCrindle is director of place at Scottish Enterprise, which is supporting RoslinCT with its growth plans. He said: “The company has developed significantly over the years and we’re very happy to see them growing their footprint and jobs numbers in Scotland and at BioQuarter.”

BioQuarter partners’ will formally launch a procurement process next year for a private sector partner to develop the Health Innovation District.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.