£10m start-up company provides boost for animal welfare science
INNOVATIONS that aim to improve the health of farmed animals, and raise agricultural productivity, will be brought to market with the support of a £10 million investment.
The investment in new company Roslin Technologies will develop business opportunities arising from the University of Edinburgh’s animal science research.
The deal will allow researchers to explore the commercial potential of technologies that enable low-cost manufacturing of new medicines using chicken eggs.
Methods of preserving frozen stocks of reproductive material from bird species are set to benefit from the funding. Such technologies aim to safeguard the future of rare bird species, which may carry useful genetic information that makes them resistant to existing – and future – diseases. The company will also bring to market new veterinary vaccines and tools for diagnosing diseases that affect farmed animals.
Roslin Technologies Ltd was launched to facilitate the commercialisation of research from the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. It is thought to be the largest agriculture biotechnology start-up in UK history to focus on research projects aimed at improving animal health and raising agricultural productivity.
An initial fundraising round has recently concluded, securing £10 million from institutional investors. The Roslin Institute’s research is focused on the applications of basic animal sciences in human and veterinary medicine, the livestock industry and food security.
The past five years has seen more than £200 million of capital investments in research facilities on the campus, making it the largest concentration of animal science anywhere in Europe.
Griff Williams, chief investment officer of the partner British Innovation Fund, said: ‘With a global population increasing beyond nine billion by 2040, innovation and investment in animal science and sustainability will be critical to ensure global food security.’