BioCity Scotland Ltd secures former MSD research site to create new base for life sciences companies

Scotland's life sciences sector received a major boost yesterday with the announcement that newly-formed BioCity Scotland Limited has acquired the former-MSD research facility at Newhouse in order to develop a dedicated base in central Scotland for growing bioscience, pharmaceutical, med tech and healthcare companies.

This joint venture between BioCity Nottingham and Roslin BioCentre has been enabled by the generous gifting of the site to BioCity Scotland by MSD (operating in the US and Canada as Merck & Co). The agreement unlocks over 130,000 sq ft of purpose-built laboratories and offices on the 23 acre site capable of supporting pre-clinical drug discovery and development by a range of independent, ambitious companies. In addition there are administrative and conference facilities to provide support and networking capabilities for the client companies.

The rejuvenated site will complement the existing provision of space for life science firms in Scotland by catering for growing companies wanting a central base on the M8 just 15 miles from Glasgow and 33 miles from Edinburgh. In addition to over 130,000 sq ft of pharma-quality fully-fitted laboratory and office space, BioCity Scotland provides access to a wide range of state-of-the-art equipment, available to rent at very competitive rates. On site business support will ensure that companies are able to tap into a developed support system and funding opportunities to assist their growing business needs.

Speaking at the announcement of the deal, BioCity Scotland, Chairman Louis J. Nisbet said: "BioCity Scotland is much more than a property proposition - it will be a unique, vibrant community of scientific companies. Just a short drive from Scotland's two largest cities, it is ideally situated to attract the cream of life science talent. BioCity Nottingham's success in nurturing and growing over 70 new companies since 2003, and Roslin's expertise in life sciences innovation and facilities management makes this team the perfect commercial partnership. The work starts now, the prospects are boundless."

News of the deal adds further weight to Scotland's claim to being a major centre for life sciences and at the forefront of drug discovery and commercialisation. The 2010 Scottish Life Sciences Strategy seeks to create a strong environment in which to build a critical mass of growing world-class firms led by highly-skilled scientists.

Welcoming the announcement, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth, John Swinney said: "Scotland is globally recognised for innovation, enterprise and technology. The reputation of our research base and life sciences sector has played an important part in Biocity's decision to establish this centre of excellence in Lanarkshire.

"I am delighted that MSD are gifting the site which will support the growth of Scotland's bioscience, pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors. The Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International have worked with MSD, BioCity Nottingham, Roslin BioCentre and North Lanarkshire Council to secure the future of this site and we look forward to going forward together, to ensure we capitalise on the economic benefits of this facility."

Chris Hill, MSD Vice President and the former Head of MSD's Newhouse facility, said: "This is a fantastic outcome for the Life Sciences community in Scotland. We are delighted to have secured such an accomplished investor and a viable and exciting future for the site in such a short period of time. The ongoing commercial operation of the site will attract investment to the local area generating employment opportunities for local communities and the success of this development will play a significant role in securing the future of Life Sciences in Scotland."

Potential tenants, university representatives and organisations interested in becoming involved with BioCity Scotland should make contact via the website

Notes to editors

For further information on behalf of BioCity Scotland contact Greg Russell (T: 07889 404933, E: or Louise Third (M: 07773 288342, T: 0115 912 4350, E: of Integra Communications or on behalf of MSD contact Meral Nugent, Communications Manager, MSD UK (T: 01992 452358, M: 07884 232042, E:

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