Biotech firm signs major Chinese deal

A biotech company launched through the University has signed a multi-million pound deal to sell its products in China.

Burdica Biomed, a Fife-based firm that develops personal lubricant products, has reached a partnership agreement with Sinopharm, China's largest pharmaceutical and medical device distributor.

Under the terms of the ten-year deal, Sinopharm will seek regulatory approval in China for Burdica's products, which include a lubricant that improves fertilisation. The regulatory process is expected to take between 12 and 18 months.

Thereafter, Sinopharm will also distribute Burdica's products in China. As a result, Burdica expects to see huge product sales in China, with revenues expected to be over £50 million.

Major deal

The deal is a major coup for Burdica and for the University, which helped launch the company in 2007 through its Edinburgh Pre-Incubator Scheme (EPIS).

EPIS provided Burdica with accommodation within the University, as well as business mentoring support and an interest-free loan of £10,000.

Burdica also took part in EPIS's first trade mission in March 2009 to Shanghai and Hong Kong, which promoted EPIS company products and services to Asian markets.

This is an enormously significant milestone for us.

Kevin BurdFounder and Chief Executive of Burdica

University success

EPIS was established in 2003 by the University, in conjunction with Scottish Enterprise and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), to promote and support innovation in Edinburgh and the Lothians.

The scheme, which is open to graduates from anywhere in the world, gives people with bright ideas for technology-based businesses, the time and resources to bring their plans to market.

To date, EPIS has awarded 62 entrepreneurship places, and 48 companies and partnerships have been formed by EPIS entrepreneurs.

This is a huge success for Burdica and the University. It shows that supporting innovation can have real results, with substantial financial consequences for Scottish companies and the economy.

Adrian SmithEdinburgh Pre-Incubator Scheme Programme Director

Driving economy

The University continues to have an enormous impact on the Scottish and UK economies by continuing to develop new business initiatives through EPIS and through its research and commercialisation arm, Edinburgh Research and Innovation (ERI).

In the last financial year, a total of 26 companies were created through the University, half of which were through EPIS. This is the highest number of companies formed in one year by a Scottish university.

The companies formed by EPIS include:

  • Ecometrica, a carbon management company;
  • Loc8 Solutions, a company that builds location-based applications for mobile devices;
  • Spinsight, a firm that provides digitalised sport content for the web.