Letter: BioQuarter has the right strategy

BILL Magee's piece about the life sciences industry titled "Change your ways, life scientists told" (Business, 21 November), and Professor Anne Glover's comments in it, could not have come at a better time.

We absolutely agree that biotechnology firms need to be "investor ready" before they approach the venture capital community.

Professor Glover is also right that too many firms have missed their chance in the past by attempting to commercialise research before it is ready, for instance by seeking funding before adequate proof of concept has been achieved.

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Edinburgh BioQuarter was established three years ago to address these issues. Working with researchers and academics at the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian we have prepared a series of new biotechnology firms that will be coming to market over the next 18 months to two years. These companies all have technologies that are based on innovative research and are investor ready.

This means not just having a product concept, but a product concept that has been tested and developed, as well as a business model that has been subjected to rigorous scrutiny so that biotechnology investors can invest in new businesses that are lower risk and have a clear growth path. This, in turn, should lead to a lower rate of failure and more investment coming to the entire Scottish biotechnology sector.

Dr Mike Capaldi, Commercialisation Director, Edinburgh BioQuarter