Minister for Public Health Shona Robison Officially Opens the Scottish Base of One of the World's Most Advanced Stem Cell Companies
News Sep 20, 2007
Cellartis AB is in the process of creating highly skilled jobs at its R&D and manufacturing facility in Dundee at its premises at Mclagan House at the city's Medipark.
The company was attracted to Scotland to take part in a £9.5million ITI Life Sciences programme and was supported with a Scottish Executive grant of £1.2million in RSA.
Cellartis, headquartered in Gothenburg, is a provider of ethically-derived human embryonic stem cell technologies which are used by academic and government research institutions and pharmaceutical and biotech companies in their work to create improved and safer drugs in the future.
Stem cell research offers huge potential for the life science sector in Scotland. Scottish academic studies in this field, as well as the location of a number of international stem cell players here, means it is viewed as one of the country's major strengths.
The programme Cellartis is involved in and its focus on collaborative research will accelerate Scottish activity in this area and provide an endorsement of Scotland's prominence.
Ms Robison, MSP Dundee East, said "The life sciences sector in Scotland is in excellent health and Cellartis' work here in Dundee will make an enormous contribution to the industry's reputation around the world. The programme will also contribute directly to the development of better, safer drugs.
“It is a great example of partnership working and collaboration which has involved Scottish Development International, Scottish Enterprise Tayside, ITI Life Sciences and universities to secure prestigious research work."
Mats Lundwall, CEO of Cellartis, said “We have been very impressed with the support we have received throughout to help staff make the move to Scotland and set up our base here in such an excellent location.
We are very excited about the research we will be doing here in Dundee and look forward to the further expansion of the company and to developing valuable connections with the life sciences community in Scotland.''
Jill Farrell, director of operations at Scottish Enterprise Tayside, said:
“The life sciences sector makes a significant contribution to Scotland's economy and we are focussed on encouraging further growth, both by supporting Scottish companies to grow and attracting overseas investment.
“Attracting such a prestigious company to Tayside is a major coup. In addition to the skills and research capabilities available in the area, Cellartis was impressed by the premises available at the Medipark.
SE Tayside and our partners at Dundee City Council are working to encourage more life sciences companies to locate at Dundee Medipark where they can share knowledge and experiences which may lead to more developments and stimulate further growth.''
Eleanor Mitchell, MD of ITI Life Sciences, added: “Cellartis are the third international company that has set up in Scotland to deliver on our R&D initiatives and help to build the life sciences cluster in Scotland in the longer term.''
Earlier this year, the company announced the agreement of a joint research programme funded by ITI Life Sciences to develop an automated process to produce high quality stem cells, a capability that currently does not exist anywhere else in the world.
The programme will be funded with up to £9.5million over three years and involves researchers at the University of Glasgow, University of Dundee and Heriot-Watt University.
Bringing together world-class expertise in the molecular mechanisms that control cell signalling and development, and significant know-how in growing, handling and maintaining stem cells, the programme will aim to solve the main issues involved in the production of high volumes of quality stem cells.
The spatial and temporal dynamics of proteins or organelles plays a crucial role in controlling various cellular processes and in development of diseases. However, acute control of activity at distinct locations within a cell cannot be achieved. A new chemo-optogenetic method enables tunable, reversible, and rapid control of activity at multiple subcellular compartments within a living cell.