Swedish firm opens Scottish ‘superbug’ base with £700,000 grant

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A SWEDISH life sciences firm has set up a Scottish base after securing funding to develop a bedside testing kit for MRSA and other hospital “super-bugs”, as it targets a multi-­billion pound market.

Gothenburg-based Mölnlycke Health Care (MHC) is ­using technology developed at Edinburgh University under licence from Scottish Enterprise.

Scotland’s economic development agency has supplied a research and development (R&D) grant worth £723,225 to finance the project.

The global market for bed-side testing kits is estimated to be in excess of £2.7 billion and forecast to grow to £4.3bn by 2018.

The new Scottish subsidiary will be based at Edinburgh ­BioQuarter, the science park at Little France next to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

Pierre Guyot, MHC’s chief executive, said: “We are ­delighted to be expanding our capabilities and product offering in close collaboration with Scottish Enterprise and Edinburgh University.

“This initiative marks our entry into the diagnostic market. We are very proud to be extending our offering of efficient infection control and prevention solutions.”

Eleanor Mitchell, director of commercialisation at Scottish Enterprise, added: “This ­licensing deal is a great example of Scottish Enterprise’s ­collaborative approach in large-scale R&D projects and of its role in supporting companies to translate ideas and research into products and services.

“By working with our colleagues in Scottish Development International, as well as our public and private sector partners, we have been able to identify and secure the opportunity for MHC to develop its innovative commercial product based on our technology at Edinburgh BioQuarter.

“We are operating in a hugely competitive environment and MHC’s decision to locate in Scotland is testament to the international reputation of our universities, businesses and skills base.”

Scottish companies including Dundee-based Axis-Shield, which was bought last year by New York-listed Alere, and ­Alva-based Omega Diagnostics are also working in the medical testing kit market.