Stem Cell Sciences returns to Scotland
Peter Mountford, Chief Executive Officer of Stem Cell Sciences has announced the company’s return to Edinburgh. Stem Cell Sciences is recognised as one of the world’s leading authorities on Stem Cell research. Their pre-eminence in the field is clearly demonstrated in scientific publications of their affiliated academic colleagues dating back to the late 1980s. In addition to the head office and laboratories here in Edinburgh, SCS also has offices and laboratory facilities in Melbourne and Kobe (Japan)…
Stem cells are derived from human and animal embryos before the cells of the embryo have committed to becoming any specific cell type and can be grown in a laboratory in an essentially unlimited supply. The cells can then be ‘differentiated’ so as to provide virtually any cell type found in the body including nerves, heart, blood, bone, cartilage and even islet cells for diabetes, promising a revolution in human medicine.
Peter explained why the company has decided to make the move: “I first came to Edinburgh to study with Professor Austin Smith FRSE, the Director of the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Stem Cell Research (ISCR) in 1991...He’s been the intellectual driver of the science behind SCS since 1994 when the company was founded in Melbourne. I was funded by a Royal Society Endeavour Scholarship for my 2 year postdoc here with Austin.”
“Stem Cell Sciences’ principal objective is to be the first company to deliver clinical benefit from an Embryonic Stem cell-derived cell therapy. This requires multiple technologies and a globally integrated initiative. No one company or country can hope to deliver the whole package of technologies needed all on their own. The cutting edge of ES cell research is firmly based in Edinburgh with Professor Austin Smith and his team with whom SCS enjoys an exceptional relationship with the ISCR as their preferred commercial partner in the stem cell field.”
“SCS also has strong links with the RIKEN Centre for Developmental Biology (CDB, Kobe Japan) through its affiliated Japanese company SCS KK. SCS and the Edinburgh based academic researchers at the ISCR have close working relationships with leading researchers at the RIKEN CDB. The institute is a major component of the Kobe Frontier Medical Precinct and Scottish Enterprise is hoping to create a similar facility here based around the new Royal Infirmary at Little France”
So are Stem Cell Sciences here to stay?
“I hope so” says Peter “We’ve moved the six members of our family and another Australian family of five over here so I don’t think we'll be moving back again in a hurry!”