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BioQuarter Year in Review


As we countdown to the end of 2020, we recap on some of the highlights and activities over what has been a tumultuous year at Edinburgh BioQuarter.

We launched our £1 billion (GDV) joint venture opportunity and long-term vision to transform BioQuarter into Edinburgh’s Health Innovation District. This is one of Europe’s largest projects of this type, which will create a new vibrant mixed-use neighbourhood – with health innovation companies and researchers at its core – and supporting a community of more than 20,000 people. Subsequently, we hosted a hugely successful virtual Bidders Day event attended by over 150 companies from around the world.

BioQuarter’s leading research and scientific talent coalesced to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. The STOPCOVID project brought together an army of 150 scientists from the Centre for Inflammation Research, funded in part by BioQuarter-based LifeArc, to test existing and experimental drugs to find a treatment for Covid-19.

To aid in the understanding of the complex data on the spread of coronavirus across Scotland, bioinformatician Jack Sleight, of Fios Genomics, built an app to translate daily data released by the Scottish Government into accessible graphs, maps and charts.

Innovation never stops, the University of Edinburgh launched several highly regarded spinouts drawing on academic research taking place at BioQuarter. Macomics Ltd, developing novel cancer therapies to increase the body’s immune defence against tumours; Cellinta Ltd, developing new gene therapies targeting cancer stem cells and Resolution Therapeutics, developing cell treatments to repair organ damage including chronic liver disease.

Resident companies at BioQuarter’s NINE and BioCubes have announced exciting developments; including Fios Genomics’ strategic alliance with Charles River Laboratories; Calcivis’ pre-market US FDA approval for its unique dental imaging system and Roslin CT’s continued expansion and recruitment drive, doubling capacity and creating an innovative hub for the manufacture of cell and gene therapy products.

As part of our commitment to support local communities, we helped inspire the next generation of scientists by running a new initiative to provide STEM Club activity boxes for neighbouring primary schools with an online programme supported by BioQuarter volunteers.

Doors opened at NHS Lothian’s Royal Hospital for Children and Young People with the first clinical teams delivering paediatric outpatient services. The Department of Clinical Neurosciences relocated to the purpose-built facility providing capacity to treat more patients and with new, improved technology.

Throughout what has been an extremely tough and challenging year, we recognise and applaud the tremendous efforts and collaboration demonstrated by everyone on BioQuarter, whether in the front line or behind the scenes.

The Edinburgh BioQuarter Programme team wishes everyone the very best for the festive season and for a 2021 filled with new opportunities and progress.