Pharma services

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Pharma services

Our world-class facilities, clinical trials expertise and comprehensive supply chain make Scotland the ideal location for clinical/pre-clinical research and drug manufacture.

Scotland has a history of drug discovery excellence and is home to over 150 pharma services and supply companies, including global leaders such as Charles River Laboratories, Quintiles and Encap Capsugel, and young, innovative companies with cutting-edge technologies such as Clyde Biosciences and Biopta. Come join them.

Reduce costs and time to bring your drug to market

6 reasons why Scotland is the place for pharma services.

Scotland is the ideal location to outsource preclinical and/or clinical research, find drug manufacture and formulation expertise and get easy access to a comprehensive supply chain.

  1. Accessible locations with proven outsourcing capabilities
  2. Cost effective and commercially focused processes
  3. Safe, effective and timely clinical trials history
  4. Support with regulatory compliance
  5. A comprehensive value chain

Pharma services in Scotland
Scotland's quality-driven pharma services supply chain

Need help to find the right supplier?

Scotland is home to over 150 pharma services and supply companies, employing over 9,000 people ready to advance your drug development.

Forward-thinking companies such as PPD and Quintiles are already leveraging Scotland’s capabilities in pharmaceutical services and academic research to achieve competitive returns in their drug development activities. 

From early drug discovery through pre-clinical and clinical trials, to manufacture, formulation and supply, we can help you find key pharma services decision-makers.

Search our life sciences supply chain directory

Drug discovery excellence

Scotland is home to Atracurium, the world's best selling muscle relaxant, discovered at the University of Strathclyde.

  • Drug discovery consortiums involving the world’s biggest pharma companies such as GSK, Boehringer Ingelheim, Pfizer and Janssen Pharmaceuticals
  • Multiple academic centres involved in drug discovery
  • Excellence in high throughput screening
  • The European Lead Compound Library with capacity for 300,000 compounds supplied by 7 European countries and high quality lead identification technologies
  • Nobel Prize winner Sir James Black who developed beta blockers in Scotland
  • Serivces from basic research, lead discovery and screening to lead optimisation

Preclinical lab testing

60% of Europe’s biopharmaceutical testing is done in Scotland.

Scotland's preclinical services cover:

  • Safety evaluation
  • DMPK
  • Safety pharmacology
  • Investigative toxicology
  • Carcinogenicity
  • Laboratory sciences
  • Expert scanning
  • Imaging capabilities

A prime site for clinical trials

Scotland was awarded 'Prime Site' status for clinical trials by two of the world’s top CROs, Quintiles and PPD.

Scotland's strengths include: 

  • Patient identification, from cradle to grave 
  • Strong collaboration across NHS, academia, government and industry
  • Globally competitive trial recruitment and start-up times 
  • Bio-banking resource unrivalled in Europe (Generation Scotland)
  • Globally recognised electronic health record system
  • Home to world's top medical schools focusing on research and  therapeutics
  • Phase I, II and III clinical trials, post-market surveillance, biostatistics, regulatory compliance, data management and study monitoring

Manufacturing and preparation

Scotland has one of the highest intensity of pharmaceuticals R&D of all European countries.

Get easy access to:

  • World-class facilities at cost-competitive sites 
  • Global top two universities for pharmacological research
  • Cost-efficiencies through lean sigma processes
  • World’s largest company dedicated to liquid and semi-solid encapsulation, Encap Capsugel
  • Strong compliance badging and supply security
  • Innovative formulation and drug discovery technologies

Insights and emerging opportunities in Scotland

More research and insight

Pharmaceutical services innovation

Scotland's competitive edge

  • Scotland's diverse portfolio covers tissue provision, testing and compliance, imaging and data analysis, regulatory consultancy, data management and supply chain logistics
  • A  comprehensive informatics infrastructure
  • Innovative discovery assays developed for supporting early lead identification
  • Streamlined and reliable tissue procurement and access managed through comprehensive network of clinical providers
  • Excellent transport networks and international hub airports supporting reliable supply chain logistics