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RoslinCT unveils expansion plans at Edinburgh BioQuarter

Janet Downie - CEO of Roslin CT. Photo by Phil Wilkinson


RoslinCT has unveiled ambitious plans for growth as it prepares to open a new additional facility at Edinburgh BioQuarter that will more than double its capacity to deliver game-changing cell and gene therapies, enabling commercial scale.

The Contract Development and Manufacturing Organisation (CDMO) will open its new state of the art cell and gene therapy manufacturing centre at BioQuarter in the new year, creating over 50 new jobs.

The new facility will operate to EU and FDA GMP standards and will become a hub for the manufacture of innovative therapies and potential cures for disease for customers and patients around the world.

Expansion will see RoslinCT welcome scientists and professionals from across the globe with new jobs covering a broad array of scientist and support roles to help shape the business and deliver top-notch services. There are also plans to grow a talent pool and launch a training academy onsite to upskill graduates and those coming in from other industries.

A spin out from Roslin Cells, once part of the world-famous Roslin Institute which cloned Dolly the Sheep, RoslinCT was established in 2015 to focus on highly innovative third-party cell therapy manufacturing. The CDMO became the first tenant at NINE, BioQuarter’s innovation centre where it has grown incrementally from a headcount of 28 and will reach over 100 in 2021. Aside from an Innovate UK grant, company growth so far has been fuelled by organic growth generated through business services.

Janet Downie, CEO of RoslinCT, said: “ Our new manufacturing facility at BioQuarter marks the dawn of a new era for RoslinCT. The facility fit-out is progressing well and we are looking forward to the building becoming fully operational. Cell and Gene Therapy Manufacturers, with the potential to bring breakthrough treatments to patients globally, are making tremendous advances and delivering significant growth. Investors globally are certainly taking notice of the sector and we continue to be very ambitious and focused on capturing significant future growth.

“We are an international business, and our vision is to be a world-leading Cell and Gene therapy hub. Being located at BioQuarter is important to us as it uniquely brings business and research together with one of the largest hospitals in the country. For us, that means not only do we benefit from regular engagement with academics and interaction with the community of other entrepreneurs and growing businesses, but it also benefits patients who are always at the forefront of our minds.”

BioQuarter is a partnership between City of Edinburgh Council, NHS Lothian, Scottish Enterprise and University of Edinburgh. The 167-acre site lies just three miles south of Edinburgh city centre and currently 8,000 people work and study within its boundary. Today, it comprises many award-winning life sciences businesses based at NINE, the globally renowned Edinburgh Medical School, many of the University of Edinburgh’s world-leading medical research institutes and the 900-bed Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

Anna Stamp, Interim Programme Director for BioQuarter, said: “ This is great news for RoslinCT and is a real success story for BioQuarter. Roslin CT is a company which has successfully taken root and grown here and is an exemplar of our vision for BioQuarter to transform in to Edinburgh’s £1 billion health innovation district. This development will ultimately support and grow hundreds of life sciences and healthcare companies bringing global connections and opportunities.

“Providing the right buildings and space for companies to grow is only part of the story and innovation has the greatest chance to thrive when people are supported through programmes, access to talent and access to an expert network, all in one place. And this is what BioQuarter can provide.”

Derek McCrindle, Director of Place, Scottish Enterprise, said: “ We are delighted to be able to support RoslinCT in their growth plans. The company has developed significantly over the years and we’re very happy to see them growing their footprint and jobs numbers in Scotland and at BioQuarter. Edinburgh BioQuarter is one of the most significant long-term mixed-use development opportunities in Europe. Demand for commercial life sciences accommodation has outstripped supply, demonstrating the pull of the location as a base for health innovation businesses. Edinburgh BioQuarter offers something unique with the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian as anchor partners offering companies access to world-class academic-researchers, scientists, clinicians and patients all in one place.”

BioQuarter partners’ will formally launch a procurement process next year for a private sector partner to develop the Health Innovation District. A prior information notice (PIN) appeared in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) in June this year and was followed by a bidders day which attracted interest from around the world.