Today Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond announced the creation of a £20M Stratified Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre (SMS-IC), at the new South Glasgow Hospitals Campus. This is one of three innovation centres to be funded and signals commitment to the Scottish life sciences sector. Predicting in advance which groups of patients will respond to a particular therapy is termed stratified medicine (or personalised medicine). It has sometimes been summarised as providing “the right therapy, for the right patient, in the right dose, at the right time”.
The SMS-IC provides opportunities for SMEs, industry, academia and the National Health Service (NHS) to work collaboratively to address the important questions of drug therapy and we invite pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to exploit this initiative, to add value to their own drug development programs.
Dr David Bunton is the CEO of Biopta Ltd Glasgow, Scotland, a CRO that specialises in using ethically donated, residual fresh human tissue collected from surgery and transplant networks to conduct non-clinical trials on new drugs. He said “Biopta is delighted to be an affiliated partner to the SMS-IC. Harnessing the combined expertise of academia, industry and the NHS signals an invitation to companies across the globe to use the capabilities of Scotland. Biopta is eager to support this initiative; our established expertise in functional human tissue studies and our focus on translational science means that we are well placed to offer our clients improved approaches to stratified medicine that incorporate biological function.”
Using assays in fresh human tissue, Biopta can assess the functionality of tissue across a range of donors. This is the essence of stratified medicine and can assist companies to align translational biomarkers, genomic to proteomic, to end function.
Biopta is well placed to support the SMS-IC being located close to South Glasgow Hospital Campus and working a flexible, on-call laboratory (24/7) that allows immediate processing of the fresh tissue.
The First Minister said: “Scotland has always been a world leader in innovation and this new funding of £30 million, made through the Scottish Funding Council, for the innovation centres reinforces the Scottish Government’s commitment to Science and technology and secures Scotland’s place as a world leader in life sciences, innovative technology, ideas and development.
The SME partners involved in the SMS-IS are Arrayjet, Axis Shield, Biopta, DestiNA Genomics, Fios Genomics and Sistemic Ltd.