Like much of Europe, the U.K. hasn't been particularly hospitable to biotech. Risk capital is in generally short supply and the governments in Europe aren't generous when it comes to reimbursements for existing products. Scotland, however, has emerged as a leader in matching world-class science with new therapeutics, particularly in the field of embryonic stem cell research.
"Scotland has wisely concentrated much of its efforts on building its biotech center around its reputation for bleeding edge research into stem cells."
Just last January the publicly funded ITI Life Sciences announced an agreement to help fund an automated approach to developing stem cell lines in cooperation with Sweden's Cellartis and the University of Glasgow. The pact includes a commitment by Cellartis to build new R&D and manufacturing facilities in Scotland. Other publicly supported efforts have contributed as well, matching top scientists in the field with companies looking to develop important new therapies.
Scotland has also wisely concentrated much of its efforts on building its biotech center around its reputation for bleeding edge research into stem cells. The Roslin Biocentre in Edinburgh along with Edinburgh University and the Centre for Genomic Technology and Informatics has contributed a considerable amount of scientific talent to the region. And Dundee University is collaborating with a group of pharma companies on cancer, infectious diseases and diabetes.
The region's support for the life sciences industry is coordinated through the Life Sciences Alliance, which teams the leaders in the field to coordinate the development of a national strategy to develop the industry.