GCU spin-off company hailed for "great innovation"

14 April 2010

First Minister Alex Salmond

First Minister Alex Salmond

GLASGOW Caledonian University spin-off company, Biopta, was used as a backdrop for an announcement by Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, that more than £4.7 million of European funding is being invested in initiatives to support small and medium enterprises.

Biopta, which was set-up by Dr. David Bunton and Professor Chris Hillier in 2002, now employs 18 people in testing drugs for the pharmaceutical industry using ethically sourced human tissue.  

The firm has benefited from investment of more than £2million from a combination of GCU, Scottish Enterprise’s Proof of Concept Award and the Scottish Co-Investment Fund through matched investment from Braveheart Investment Group and TriCap.

Speaking today, the First Minister congratulated Biopta on being a further example of Scotland’s great innovation traditions, adding that the company counts eight of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies in the world among its clients.

He continued: “This announcement of more than £4.7 million European funding will deliver quality support and advice services for business growth, which will benefit around 500 companies and potentially create 580 jobs.”   

Biopta CEO, Dr. David Bunton, said:  Biopta has previously received support through the Co-Investment Fund, most recently in 2008.  This funding was crucial to the growth of the company in three key areas: development and production of our unique perfusion myograph instrument; expansion of our established tissue supply network in the UK and beyond; and creation of an internal research and development team.  We are delighted this support will continue to be available to other small businesses.”

David Bunton is an expert in vascular pharmacology who gained his PhD at Glasgow Caledonian University and subsequently took up a Lectureship in Physiology and Pharmacology.  He was also a consultant to the Diabetes Education and Training Unit at GCU.

The projects receiving a share of the £4.7 million funding allocation are:

- Support for Young Innovative Enterprises – the Scottish Enterprise project aims to assist 15 young technology companies with selective grant funding.

- Advanced Entrepreneurial & Pre Incubation Support – the project will provide entrepreneurial training and support by linking businesses to universities that can assist their development.

- Enterprise@DC – the Dundee College programme will work to increase the number of people from the city’s poorest communities to explore, and to start, their own business through providing facilities and expertise in areas such as IT, e-commerce and marketing.