United Kingdom Biotech Sector Leads Europe

April 12, 2012

Britain’s Life Science and Biotechnology sector has acquired the No. 1 position in Europe, and ranks second in the world after the US. Progress in life sciences and biotechnology in the UK has helped the pharmaceutical industry to discover cures for many diseases. Various research programs have enabled the development of new technologies in health care, food safety, and the breeding of plants and animal livestock. UK-based research has triggered path-breaking revelations in genomics and stem cell biology.  With the news that GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will be investing around $800m in new UK biopharmaceutical manufacturing and R&D sites, and with a 2012 Budget offering better “Patent Box” and R&D tax credits, this sector is experiencing renewed interest and investment.   

The newly launched Cole-Parmer 2012 UK Road Show reaches out to this area of business and showcases Cole-Parmer’s fluid handling capabilities.  In particular, the Road Show focuses on “UK’s Biotech Golden Triangle” encompassing London, Oxford, and Cambridge, a geographical region that has been identified as the densest region in Europe for therapeutics, medtech, diagnostics, and healthcare R&D companies.

Colin Heathfield, Cole-Parmer UK Technical Sales Manager and fluid handling expert, and Hadas Mills, Cole-Parmer UK Marketing Manager, set out very early on a cold Tuesday morning to set up our stand at the first event in the series –the One Nucleus event at Newmarket Racecourse known as “Bench to Boardroom”.  The racecourse at Newmarket offers a great conference venue (but unfortunately no horseracing!).  

The event attracted about 300 delegates from life science companies and academia looking for networking opportunities and information about relevant new products, technologies, and related research.  Colin and Hadas spoke to instrument manufacturers looking for pulseless pumping, contract manufacturers searching for chemically compatible tubing, start-ups looking for pipetting, and universities looking for new microscopes and eager to demo our new picoSpin-45L Benchtop NMR Spectrometer . 

A few weeks later, the next stop was Cambridge University’s Chemistry Department, well-known for breakthrough research and some of the best British scientists. Colin and Hadas pitched up at the department’s Cyber Café where they offered visitors cake in return for a few minutes of their time.  The Cambridge chemistry department has a wide variety of interests and the team spoke to representatives of various research groups about the use of syringe pumps, microfluidics, tubing, peristaltic pumps, and the potential of using benchtop NMR within continuous flow processes.

The next  stop will be at BioTrinity, in the Oxford area, April 24-26, at Newbury Racecourse (still no horseracing!).  The organizers, Oxford Biotechnology Network , are expecting 800 delegates from UK’s biotech sector. And the road show continues at the end of May at the Culham Science Centre, a venue that combines world-class publicly funded research into fusion power, commercial technology organisations, and  the Innovation Centre.


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No Small Thing: Microfluidics

December 8, 2011

Microfluidics is generally used to describe any technology that moves microscopic and nano-scale quantities of fluid through channels on a MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical System). Devices in this realm are expected to have the capabilities to accurately manipulate minute volumes of fluid well below the microliter range.

Microfluidics encompasses many different areas of research. With its foundation laid in the 1980s through the research that occurred in inkjet print heads, DNA chips, and lab-on-chip technology, microfluidics has expanded into many new fields. Along with its continuing use in engineering, physics, and chemistry, the latest microfluidics growth is occurring in pharmaceutical and biotechnology research.

Why use Microfluidics?

  • Reduction of cost per experiment by consuming a much smaller volume of reagent
  • Significant reduction of time and cost per test
  • Safer chemical experiments and reactions
  • Improved data quality
  • Increased resolution of separations

Cole-Parmer offers a range of products for Life Science including items for Microfluidic research. These include nanoliter syringe pumps, electrophoresis products, microplates, and lab-on-chip products.





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