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Life Sciences in Scotland: How Edinburgh Technopole is Driving Innovation

RoslinCT: creating a new type of stem cell

Based at Edinburgh Technopole, RoslinCT was one of the first companies to translate the technology behind Dolly the Sheep. Now, the company is expanding into the gene editing market, accelerating its delivery of therapies to patients.

Kevin Bruce, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer at RoslinCT explains: “The original vision for the RoslinCT was to create a new type of stem cell. Founded off the back of the Dolly the Sheep technology, our aim was to translate the science of making a pluripotent stem cell to a grade that could be manufactured to make therapies.

“Having achieved this, with RoslinCT one of the world’s first to make some of these stem cells, we have now broadened that vision to a whole host of new technologies, such as gene editing.

“Although the science around these therapies has been around for a long time, it’s taken until the last few years to really accelerate and start getting to patients. As the demand is growing and these therapies become successful, it’s more and more important that we’re here to help people get these therapies to patients quicker.”

Making a real difference to patients’ lives

Sophie Glen, Senior Development Scientist at RoslinCT, adds: “The field we work in at Roslin is quite niche; while the cell therapy market is growing, it’s still relatively new. This means that I get to work in a team that is building new processes and therapies that might actually make an impact on real patients’ lives.

“At the moment, a lot of diseases have treatments, but not necessarily cures. Cell therapy treatments particularly could be very useful in offering that cure. They are already being used for diseases like cancer, for example.”

Kevin adds: “We’ve had patients visit us and tell us about the impact on their lives. One of the most striking comments was a patient saying that they now “have a life”. Previously they were struggling to have a job and keep down a normal life; so it’s life-changing for these patients.”

A hub for life sciences in Scotland

Life Sciences in Scotland - an image f a scientist adding red liquid to a petri dish

Sophie says: “Edinburgh Technopole is a life science setting with a really good reputation – this is where Dolly the Sheep was born! Having this many like-minded institutes around us makes us feel part of a science hub.”

A hub for life sciences in Scotland, Edinburgh Technopole offers a range of flexible, specialist laboratory, industrial and office space to support scientists, technologists, engineers and entrepreneurs on every step of the innovation journey from R&D to manufacturing.

Kevin explains: “When we first engaged Pioneer to move here, they really enabled us to rapidly set up. We were able to refit the entire floor with new, quite specialized labs and the different infrastructure needed. The whole process has been painless, which is exactly what you want. RoslinCT is growing as a business quite quickly, and what we need is that responsiveness, adaptability, and flexibility as we grow and change, which is exactly what Pioneer Group, and Edinburgh Technopole, offers.”

Read the full article on Pioneer