£10m start-up com­pany pro­vides boost for an­i­mal wel­fare science

The Oban Times - - Farming -

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.’

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