Science for Sustainability Hub

High stakes biotech partnership

New partnership between Edinburgh and FUJIFILM Dyosinth Biotechnologies

A strategic partnership led by FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies (FDB) and the University of Edinburgh was announced in 2019 to address challenges in bioprocessing and the manufacture of biological drugs (biologics) through a wide-ranging programme of innovative research and training.

Currently around 20% of all medicines are biologics and this share is growing. The market was valued at $251 billion in 2018 and is predicted to reach $749 billion in 2028. Biologics have transformed the treatment of life-limiting diseases including cancer, haemophilia and rheumatoid arthritis.

This partnership, which also includes the universities of York and Manchester and Scotland’s Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre, will accelerate the development of biologics, ultimately making treatments and vaccines used by many millions of people easier and more cost-effective to manufacture.

The University of Edinburgh provides access to a rich talent pipeline for a growing biotech business in a highly competitive sector.

The partnership has leveraged significant FDB investment to form a multi-disciplinary core of over 100 people engaged in an expanding programme of work that is of mutual benefit and considerable strategic value.  For example, the team has recently secured funding for an £8.7 million Prosperity Partnership project co-funded by FDB, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) to understand the underlying biology of the cell lines that produce biologics and develop new technology to meet future demands of biologics production.

Operating in a rapidly expanding market, FDB has ambitious plans to grow and is creating a new Biocampus at its Billingham site in the north-east of England. The partnership with the University of Edinburgh has a key role in realising these ambitions. Our collaborative research is ensuring the company remains at the forefront of innovation and enables access to world-leading research expertise while providing new development opportunities for FDB staff.  The University also provides access to a rich talent pipeline for a growing business in a highly competitive sector.