8 Scottish Life Science Companies Descend Upon Boston in Search of Investors and Partners

Jun 14, 2012, 11:13 ET from Scottish Development International

BOSTON, June 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Hailing from the same country that produced the first cloned mammal, introduced anesthesia, discovered penicillin and developed the first bionic hand, eight Scottish companies will meet with executives of Boston's top pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies on June 14-15 in hopes of securing new investment for Scotland's thriving life sciences industry.

Led by Scottish Development International (SDI), the government's economic development and trade investment agency, companies will have the opportunity to meet with key decision-makers—and in some cases, tour the facilities—of some of the region's largest life science companies including Novartis, Genzyme and Cubist Pharmaceuticals.

The Boston trade mission will officially kick off today with a site visit to Cubist Pharmaceuticals, a bio-pharmaceutical company focused on the research, commercialization, and creation of pharmaceutical products that address the unmet medical needs in the acute care environment.

"Scotland's streamlined regulatory process, combined with its comprehensive patient records system, and the close links between clinics and research laboratories make it the ideal location for translational research to accelerate drug discovery," said Christo Shalish of Cubist Pharmaceuticals. "We look forward to welcoming the Scottish delegation to our facilities this week to further explore potential partnerships in the near future."

Likewise, companies with significant operations in Massachusetts, including Novartis and Genzyme, have taken notice of Scotland's remarkable strengths in regenerative medicine, pioneering stem cell research and drug discovery, observing that Scotland has always been at the forefront of medical innovation.

During the mission, Scottish companies will also hear from a panel of venture capitalists at SDI's Boston office, which serves as the organization's U.S. headquarters. Representatives from Novartis Venture Funds and EuroUS Ventures will examine the changing landscape of the venture industry, discuss key funding trends and share recent examples of life science company executives seeking funding.

Isaac Cheng from Morningside Ventures, another venture capital firm that has experience investing in Scottish companies, said: "Morningside Ventures supported Scotland-based NuCana BioMed with Series A funding last November. Scotland's rich history of successful life science innovation makes the country an attractive place for investors, so we want to equip these companies with the resources they need to continue to bring their valuable products to market."

Companies participating in the two-day trade mission include: MGB BioPharm, BioOutsource, Sistemic, Edinburgh BioQuarter, Symbiosis, Angel Biotechnology, Biopta and Tissue Solutions. This comes just days before the companies will join a larger Scottish delegation to exhibit their products and services at BIO 2012, one of the most important conferences for the life science community, attracting visitors from more than 60 countries. 

"For more than 200 years, Scotland's scientific discoveries have served as some of the most critical stepping stones for the advancement of modern medicine, and Scotland maintains a distinct ability to foster innovation and inspire scientific discovery," said Danny Cusick, President, Americas, Scottish Development International. "SDI has seven offices across North America and provides opportunities for collaboration with key North American companies. With BIO coming to our own back yard this year, we are keen to further strengthen ties for trade and investment with life science companies based here."

Scotland's latest innovations in the life sciences industry add to the country's already solid foundation of 640+ life science companies, a ready workforce of 40,000 life science graduates and the collaborative network of one of the largest life science clusters  in Europe.

About Scottish Development International

Scottish Development International (SDI) works to attract inward investment and knowledge to Scotland in order to help the economy grow. SDI also works to help Scottish companies do more business overseas and to promote Scotland as a good place to live, work and do business. It is jointly operated by the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise. Its work is guided by the global connections theme of the Scottish Government's Smart Successful Scotland strategy for economic development in Scotland. For more information, visit http://www.sdi.co.uk/.

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SOURCE Scottish Development International