Europe Turns to Ayr-Based AvantiCell Science to Help Train the Advanced Scientists of the Future

Published: Aug 01, 2013

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August 1, 2013 -- A Scottish-based biotechnology company has been selected to take part in a major European project to train young scientists in the most advanced techniques - and also teach them the skills to bring their science to market.

The four-year contract has been awarded to AvantiCell Science, based near Ayr, by the EC's powerful science and technology programme as part of a drive to identify and nurture the next generation of ground-breaking scientists.

AvantiCell, which is a major player in a current Euro-project with the ultimate aim of creating an artificial pancreas, will team up with a partner organisation in Pisa, Italy, to provide in-depth training for the young scientists in advanced human cell culture.

Dr Colin Wilde, one of the founders of the company, which employs 15 people at Auchincruive, said: "These young people will undertake PhD work with us and gain valuable experience of next generation science in a trans-European context.

"Initially, two students will work with us for 18 months and two with our partners at the Italian National Research Council in Pisa, then they will change places, so that each will gain three years of first class expertise."

AvantiCell has gained an international reputation for its contribution to the understanding of primary cells of human origin and its use of proprietary technologies to mimic their physiological functions.

The company has established a niche market in Malaysia, China and, most recently in Japan by isolating primary cells from human and animal tissue. The attraction to researchers and analysts worldwide is that primary cells retain a biological memory of the tissue they came from.

This means that, when grown in a culture dish, they mimic what happens in the body, and so can be used to test predictively a whole range of materials. This allows researchers to make informed decisions about the likelihood of failure or success at an early stage in the development process.

The young scientists will join the company under the Humunity Project, a European Industrial Doctorate funded by the EC's Framework 7. As well as developing advanced biological models, they will be trained in translating their work into industrially-exploitable and medically useful tools.

For further information about AvantiCell Science, contact Dr Joanna Oliver, chief executive, Gibbs Yard Building, Auchincruive, Ayr, KA6 5HW, Scotland, UK. t: +44 (0) 1292 521060. f: +44 (0) 1292 521610. m: +44 (0) 7867 977147. e:

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