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Life sciences firms urged to act on rising share prices

Rising share prices among life science companies have given Scotland a fresh opportunity to engage with industrial partners, according to a senior industry figure.

Julia Brown, director of life and chemical sciences at Scottish Enterprise, told an event at BioCity Scotland today that life science share prices were outperforming more general indices.

She said that the performance of life science stocks showed there was more confidence in the sector and more money available in the system.

Brown told the event: “We need to think about how we can engage with industrial partners to attract funding and carry out research and development.”

Her comments came at an open session organised by the University of the West of Scotland’s Institute of Biomedical & Environmental Health Research.

The event was attended by representatives from industry, academia, the health service and government economic development agencies.

Speaking after the event, Brown said that the innovation centres being set up in Scotland – such as the Innovation Centre for Sensor & Imaging Systems (Censis) and the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre – were already helping to forge tighter links between universities and industry.

She said that Scottish Enterprise was also working to form closer relationships with investors such as venture capital funds that were interested in the life sciences sector.

Brown said: “In terms of getting spin out companies financially ready, they also need to be looking at making funding applications in parallel rather than in sequence.

“Some of the small companies we work with will spend a lot of time focussing on just one investor and then will be told ‘no’. They need to be targeting other investors at the same time to speed up the process.”

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