Jo has congratulated local medical research company Biopta on receiving a six figure funding boost for its cutting edge research into treatments for common diseases.
The Bearsden-based company Biopta Ltd has secured in excess of £265,000 in funding from Braveheart Investment Group, TRI Cap and the Scottish Co-Investment Fund and will use the investment to develop its unique human tissue testing techniques.
Biopta uses ethically donated samples of human tissue collected from surgery to conduct trials on new drugs. Testing new treatments on tissue samples before running trials on people can help to improve the safety of clinical trials for volunteers, and reduce the demand for animal testing.
Commenting, Jo said:
“Investment in scientific research is vital to the strength of our economy, and the important medical research which Biopta is undertaking will bring real benefits to the health of our communities.
“I am working with Biopta to persuade the Government to help increase the availability of ethically donated tissue samples for medical research through the NHS.
“Investing in human tissue research could not only make drug trials safer, but also speed up the process of getting new, safe and effective drugs onto the market to treat many common diseases.”
Elaine Ferguson, Finance Director of Biopta Ltd, said:
“The commitment from our existing investors has come at an exciting time for our business. We enjoyed rapid growth in 2010 and will build on this by accelerating our development of new service areas. We believe there is no better model for testing human medicines than humans themselves and using surgical discard human tissue means hugely valuable material can be put to good use, rather than be incinerated.”
Dr David Bunton, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Biopta, said:
“Our services are part of a growing trend towards the outsourcing of non-clinical research in the pharmaceutical industry, which is a global market of £4.5bn per annum2. 80% of our clients lie outwith the UK, primarily in North America, Europe and Japan and we see huge potential for growth in all these areas, particularly the US and Japan.
“Many companies will simply not allow products to enter full development until they have data generated from human tissue studies and this is where Biopta can help.
“We hope to build on recent activities to bring the development of safer medicines and the availability of human tissue to the forefront of public debate, as much more can be done to make tissues widely available to all medical researchers.”