|2 November 2015|

Scottish pharmaceutical company Alfacyte Ltd is set to move to a new home at life sciences incubator BioCity Scotland in November, after recently securing a six figure investment to advance the development of an oral vaccine for the treatment of peanut allergy.

Peanut allergy affects around 2% of the Western population, and is the most common cause of food-induced fatal allergic reactions.

Alfacyte, currently based in Glasgow, was set up by Professor of Immunology William Stimson and Dr Alistair Strachan in 2012 with the aim of developing drug therapies to treat various food allergies. In Summer 2015 it announced that it had raised £350,000 in equity and grant funding from the EOS Technology Investment Syndicate, Scottish Investment Bank and Scottish Enterprise. The investment will directly fund development and production of the proprietary molecule that will form the basis of a peanut allergy vaccine.

When deciding on a new home that would meet the needs of the growing business, the company chose BioCity Scotland because of the quality of the facilities, easily accessible location beside the M8 between Glasgow and Edinburgh, and the knowledge and expertise of the BioCity team.

Gillian Brown, Alfacyte’s chief executive said: “Alfacyte is very pleased to be establishing its business at BioCity Scotland. As a very young and very small SME, we feel BioCity offers not just excellent facilities but an opportunity to mix with similar companies and share experiences. BioCity is more than just a location for our business, we can also benefit from the support and knowledge of its team and its network.”

Dr Diane Harbison, managing director of BioCity Scotland said: “Alfacyte is a tremendously exciting and innovative young company and I am delighted that they have chosen to come to BioCity Scotland. Food allergies are a very common life-limiting condition, especially in children, and cause hundreds of fatalities every year, so the development of an oral vaccine to treat peanut allergy has the potential to change thousands of lives all over the world. We look forward to supporting the ongoing development of the company here at BioCity Scotland.”

Dr Harbison added: “BioCity Scotland will become Scotland’s fifth Enterprise Area next year, which means that as well as providing our tenant companies with high spec laboratories and office space, access to expertise, finance and a community of like-minded people, we can also offer them business rates relief, faster planning applications and support and assistance in accessing international markets.”