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Scotland Highlights New Partnerships and Cutting-Edge Drug Discovery Research

Recent stem cell advances and Sir Philip Cohen's groundbreaking research into new drug targets showcase Scotland's life sciences innovation at BIO 2009

ATLANTA, May 18 /PRNewswire/ -- At this year's BIO International Convention, May 18-21 in Atlanta, Scotland will showcase the commercial success of its research collaborations with global pharmaceutical and biotech companies, as well as major scientific advancements in stem cells, drug discovery, translational medicine, medical technology and preclinical and clinical research.

With representation from more than 30 companies and organizations, including Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Development International and TalentScotland, the Scottish Pavilion at BIO will display exceptional collaboration among industry, academia and government in its life sciences sector. Scotland's internationally-renowned universities, rich talent base and unprecedented scientific legacy make it a natural home to one of the largest and fastest growing life science clusters in Europe, with more than 620 life science organizations and over 31,000 employees.

At this year's conference, Scotland will present a panel on 'The Ubiquitin Story,' a look at an exciting new research area in which Scotland has invested heavily through the $15 million Scottish Institute for Cell Signaling (SCILLS) and the $14 million ITI Life Sciences Ubiquitin Proteasome System (UPS) drug discovery program. Participating in the panel session will be University of Dundee's Sir Philip Cohen, world-renowned biochemist and newly inducted member of the U.S. National Academy of Science, whose leadership developing protein kinases as key drug targets has paved the way for several of the leading oncology therapies available to patients today. Professor Mike Tyers, Director of the Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance (SULSA), along with industry experts from around the world, will offer scientific, business and investment perspective on the potential of this area to become the next generation of biopharmaceutical drug targets.

"In these challenging times, Scotland's world-class talent, high-tech infrastructure and commitment to cross-sector collaboration provide a rich and innovative environment for life science investors," said Rhona Allison, Senior Director Life Sciences, Scottish Enterprise. "Major capital investments such as the new Edinburgh BioQuarter and the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine -- led by Sir Ian Wilmut -- are only a few examples of how Scotland is helping companies quickly and effectively bring novel technologies and products to market."

Earlier this year, Scottish companies and organizations achieved stem cell breakthroughs in synthetic blood and embryonic and iPS (Induced pluripotent stem cells) technology and began stem cell clinical trials for corneal blindness and stroke, further reinforcing Scotland's world-leading position in the use of stem cell-based therapies. At BIO, government-sponsored innovation fund ITI Life Sciences and stem cell company Cellartis AB will offer insights into the company's new license to produce large volumes of high-quality, ethically-derived human embryonic stem cell lines (hES) and expand Scottish operations. NovaBiotics, one of Scotland's leading biotech companies focused on the design and development of antifungal and antibacterial therapeutics, will also be on hand to discuss the development of its lead product Novexatin(TM), a novel treatment for fungal nail infection.

    Scottish Organizations at BIO
    Accuro Biologics
    Aquapharm Biodiscovery Ltd
    AvantiCell Science Ltd
    BioFilm Limited
    Biotech Innovation and Future Health Limited
    Cellartis AB
    ClinTec International Ltd
    CXR Biosciences Ltd
    Devro Medical Limited
    Environmental Hygiene Products Ltd
    Fulcrum Pharma PLC
    GlycoMar Limited
    ITI Life Sciences
    Lamellar Biomedical Ltd
    Marks & Clarks LLP
    Murgitroyd & Company
    NovaBiotics Ltd
    Scottish Biomedical
    Scottish Development International
    Scottish Enterprise
    Scottish Stem Cell Network
    Tissue Solutions Ltd
    University of Dundee - MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit
    University of Dundee - Research and Innovation Service
    University of Edinburgh - College for Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
    University of Edinburgh - MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine
    University of Glasgow - Research and Enterprise

For more information on these companies, please visit Scottish Development International (

For further information or interviews with representatives from Scottish Development International, Scottish Enterprise, or Scottish companies attending the show, please contact Emily Hyman at 617-520-7094 or

SOURCE Scottish Enterprise
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