Fifteen new jobs are being created at Biocity Scotland in Newhouse with the establishment of a new team of scientists.
University of Dundee, in partnership with the Scottish Universities Life Science Alliance (SULSA), will task them with helping in the search for new drugs to combat the likes of heart disease, cardiovascular problems, cancer and diabetes.
This team has the responsibility for hit characterisation and medicinal chemistry, and will follow up on active compounds for public programmes discovered in the European Lead Factory funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative.
Work has already started to recommission equipment and laboratories, previously de-commissioned by Merck/MSD before they vacated the premises.
Heading up the project is Dr Phil Jones, no stranger to the area as he was the former site manager when the pharmaceutical plant was owned by Merck MSD.
He said: “It’s great to be back in the premises I know well and to be building a new team with the prospects of making exciting new discoveries with the potential to make a valuable contribution to the future of medicine.
“Large pharma companies already have access to massive libraries of 300,000 compounds which can be screened in the hunt for potential medicines.
“This library at Newhouse will house up to 500,000 compounds and is offered to academics and SMEs across Europe, to allow them to have access to the sorts of facility only available to date to the major companies.
“The funding from IMI is vital and we are looking forward to getting started on this innovative work.”
BioCity Scotland opened in January 2012, and has recruited nineteen new businesses, including five virtual tenancies, to the premises.