The pharma arm of one of the world’s biggest healthcare companies is partnering with a leading Scottish university to set up a Centre for Dementia Prevention in Edinburgh.
Scotland has further strengthened its position as a global centre for medical research as Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a pharmaceutical company of Johnson & Johnson, makes a major research Investment in a new Centre for Dementia Prevention in Edinburgh’s BioQuarter. The centre will be focussing its efforts - the CHARIOT study - led by the University of Edinburgh and Janssen R&D, on clinical trials to better understand and ultimately develop new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.
BioQuarter - the complete location
Janssen R&D will be joining the 650 or so researchers and 20+ companies already active on the 100 acre BioQuarter site in south west Edinburgh. This key site for life sciences in Scotland has rapidly attracted both local and global companies. All are keen to work together on a location that more easily allows academics, clinicians and industry to collaborate, accelerating the translation of medicine from bench to bedside.
Welcoming the newcomer to the BioQuarter, Julia Brown, Life and Chemical Sciences Director at Scottish Enterprise, said: "This collaboration and new facility puts Scotland and the Edinburgh BioQuarter squarely on the map as an international innovation hub."
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Talent on tap
Naturally, Scotland’s talent has been a key magnet for Janssen R&D too. In this case, the expertise of Professor Craig Ritchie, the University of Edinburgh’s Professor of the Psychiatry of Ageing, and co-director of the new Centre. Professor Ritchie moved from his post at the Centre for Mental Health at Imperial College London in 2014, and is a leader on clinical trials in dementia. He leads the EPAD dementia consortium, an IMF-funded initiative to set up a network of European trial delivery centres, work that is led from Edinburgh by the University.
“By understanding how the brain ages over time, it may be possible to detect the earliest stages of dementia before symptoms develop. We hope this insight will lead to the development of new treatments that could prevent the disease in those at risk.”
Janssen R&D will also be able to take advantage of the wider expertise offered at the BioQuarter around clinical trials, translational medicine and rapid access to patients.
Janssen R&D’s investment has been underpinned by a £2.5 million building, the facility for clinical trials. It was funded, procured and constructed by Scotland’s main economic development agency, Scottish Enterprise. It’s just one of the ways that they can support inward investors looking to take advantage of Scotland’s competitive edge.
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This Janssen R&D investment is another chapter in Scotland’s history of drug discovery and innovation that dates back to the discovery of penicillin. Today, over 150 pharma services and supply companies are here, including global leaders.
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