£10m deal to boost the impact of animal science innovations

A £10m investment into the UK’s largest biotechnology start-up could help animal scientists at the University of Edinburgh improve the health and productivity of farmed animals.

The investment, being made in new company Roslin Technologies, will develop business opportunities arising from the university’s world-leading animal research.

It’s hoped that the move will mean farmers and the market will be able to access and make use of scientific innovations more easily.

Secured thanks to funding from institutional investors, the money will initially be used to help researchers explore the commercial benefits of technologies which enable low-cost manufacturing of new medicines using chickens.

By developing ways to preserve frozen stocks of reproductive material from birds, scientists hope they will be able to safeguard the future of rare bird species which may carry useful genetic information that makes them to existing and future diseases.

The company will also bring to market new veterinary vaccines and tools for diagnosing animal diseases.

Commercialising research

Roslin Technolgies was launched to help commercialise research from the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

It is is a partnership between the University, the agriculture-focused private equity advisors JB Equity and the British Innovation Fund, a newly-formed fund that invests in leading innovation venture funds and companies from British universities.

The Roslin Institute, which receives strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, is located with the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies on the University of Edinburgh’s Easter Bush campus.
Research on the campus 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 £200m of capital investments in research facilities on the campus, making it the largest concentration of animal science anywhere in Europe.

Professor Bruce Whitelaw, Interim Director of The Roslin Institute, said: “The Roslin Institute is internationally recognised for providing a strategic research base for large animal genetics and health science within the UK. 

“Having pioneered the commercialisation of animal biotechnology for three decades, the establishment of Roslin Technologies now provides an exciting platform to accelerate the translation of Roslin’s data driven innovations into the commercial sector.”