The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Ayr Chartered Accountants do a runner!

TWO intrepid Ayr-based businessmen are in training for one of the world’s biggest long-distance races.

[Photograph shows: Stephen Wilkie (left) and Andrew Sinclair in training on the beach at Ayr seafront. CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.]

Andrew Sinclair (43) and Stephen Wilkie (39), partners in leading Ayrshire Chartered Accountants Sinclair Scott, will be lining up at the start of the famous New York City Marathon on Sunday 2 November.

The New York City Marathon is one of the world’s great road races, drawing more than 100,000 applicants. The race attracts many world-class professional athletes, not only for the more than $600,000 in prize money, but also for the chance to excel in the media capital of the world before two million cheering spectators and 315 million worldwide television viewers. As any one of the more than 700,000 past participants will attest, crossing the finish line in Central Park is one of the great thrills of a lifetime.

Andrew and Stephen will be running in order to raise funds for the Multiple Sclerosis Society Scotland.

The Multiple Sclerosis Society Scotland is Scotland’s largest charity for people affected by multiple sclerosis, and is part of the MS Society of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. About 10,400 people in Scotland have MS.

Andrew said: “With relatives and friends who suffer from MS, I felt that this was a great opportunity to make a contribution to a very worthwhile cause, and at the same time to bring the marvellous work that the MS Society carries out to an even wider audience.”

Businesses and individuals who would like to support Andrew and Stephen’s efforts can do so online by following the link on the front page of Sinclair Scott’s website at

Businesses offering over £125 will have their logo displayed in the reception hall of the Sinclair Scott offices in Wellington Square, Ayr, and contributors of £500 or more will in addition be given the opportunity of a special feature page on the Sinclair Scott website.

For more information contact Andrew or Stephen on 01292 288999.


I-Newswire OpenPress PR-GB

Monday, 18 February 2008

Ayrshire biotech consortium to create new generation of drug tests

A CONSORTIUM of three Ayrshire companies has secured investment to commence work on a project that will build the next generation of tools for use in the discovery of new drugs.

Avanticell Science, an established biotech company located in Auchincruive and a specialist in cell biology and cell culture, will lead the consortium. Avanticell will work with Ayr-based Giltech Limited, specialists in biomaterials, biodegradables and controlled delivery and Culzean Medical Devices Ltd, which designs and manufactures implantable medical products at its Prestwick cleanroom facility.

The two year, £1 million project is co-funded by the Technology Strategy Board, the public body set up by the UK Government to promote technological innovation.

Avanticell and its partners will combine their unique expertise to create a new generation of three-dimensional cell-based tests, known as assays, to open the door to a new era in drug discovery.

Successful cell-based assays can identify new pharmaceuticals and evaluate their safety before testing in clinical trials. They play a significant role in reducing the need for animal testing in drug discovery.

Current cell-based drug tests use conventional flat layers of cell cultures, which can have limitations. Success in this area relies on the behaviour of the living cells resembling their behaviour in the human body and three-dimensional cell cultures are much more likely to achieve this.

Avanticell will combine its cell culture technology excellence with Giltech’s and Culzean’s bio-engineering expertise to put living cells into a three dimensional scaffold. The development of 3D cell-based assays will be a first for the UK's biotechnology sector.

Avanticell chief executive Jo Oliver said: “The project will result in the next generation of cell-based assays, accelerating and reducing the cost of new drug development to treat life-threatening diseases such as cancer. Avanticell is delighted to lead a consortium focused on these new tools as part of the company’s commitment to becoming a leader in the field of ethical testing of both conventional pharmaceuticals and traditional medicines from natural products.”

Scottish Enterprise played a key role in supporting the ambitious plans of the consortium. The organisation will continue to work with the companies to encourage their growth and success.

Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire growing business manager Jim Glover said: “This is an excellent example of collaboration in one of Scotland’s growing industries. It clearly demonstrates the wealth of experience, knowledge and innovation in Ayrshire’s business base. Scotland is one of the UK’s leading locations for life sciences, underpinned by a world-class academic base and home to fifteen per cent of all life sciences companies in the UK.”

Giltech Ltd director of research and development David Healy added: “The considerable challenges in this project require the integration of specialised and diverse expertise from each of the partners. What we learn from this development will further expand our understanding of the limits of our materials’ capabilities and will lead us to new and emerging markets for our products.”

Culzean Medical managing director David M Richmond said: “The project gives us a great opportunity to provide an innovative and proprietary solution to treat life threatening diseases and promote the unique skills of the Ayrshire-based consortium partners.”

Avanticell Science Ltd was established in 2006. Its founding principle is that advances in cell culture technology enable the development of physiologically relevant alternatives to animal testing in research and drug discovery. The company’s business is focused on cell-based assays for use in drug discovery, materials testing and biomedical research. Avanticell has recently been recognised in the Ayrshire Business Awards, where it picked up the award for “Potential Business Growth for most Entrepreneurial Young Company”.

Giltech was founded in 1984 to develop novel biomaterials for medical devices. Since then it has continued develop unique and creative core biodegradable and controlled release technologies and apply them to products for healthcare, agricultural, industrial and other applications.

Culzean Medical Devices Ltd is an innovative and experienced medical fabric specialist dedicated to providing contract design, development and manufacturing of customised solutions to the biotech and medical devices industries. Culzean Medical Devices Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lombard Medical Technologies PLC.

Scottish Enterprise is the main economic development agency for Scotland covering 93% of the population from Grampian to the Borders. The Scottish Enterprise Network consists of Scottish Enterprise and 12 Local Enterprise Companies. Working in partnership with the private and public sectors the Network aims to build more and better businesses, to develop the skills and knowledge of Scottish people, and to encourage innovation to make Scottish business internationally competitive. Further information on Scottish Enterprise is available at

The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led executive non-departmental public body, established by the government. Its mission is to promote and support research into, and development and exploitation of, technology and innovation for the benefit of UK business, in order to increase economic growth and improve the quality of life. It is sponsored by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS).


Sunday, 17 February 2008

Nick Nairn helps Ayrshire businesses to go green

From Our Own Correspondent

NICK NAIRN was the star of a recent Scottish Enterprise event, held to raise awareness of environmental issues among Ayrshire's tourism businesses.

The celebrity chef joined a number of top business personalities to demonstrate the benefits of a greener, more sustainable business.

[Picture shows Nick Nairn with guest speakers and members of Scottish Enterprise.]

More than 70 business people participated in the event, which was held at Turnberry Golf Club. The events highlighted the environmental and cost savings that companies can make by changing the way they work.

Nick gave a talk on green tourism and a cookery demonstration that illustrated the importance of local produce. In true 'Ready, Steady, Cook' style, he used a selection of local foodstuffs to create a number of delicious recipes that focused on quality and seasonal produce.

Scottish Enterprise tourism executive Annemarie Burns said: "The event was a real success, and all the speakers provided practical hints and tips about green tourism and the importance of sourcing quality, local ingredients and services.

"More and more visitors to Ayrshire expect tourism businesses to be aware of environmental issues and the event gave local businesses the opportunity to learn about improvements that they can make to their operations, while generating energy and cost savings. Tourism is a growing industry in Ayrshire, employing 12,000 people and worth £330 million to the economy. It is imperative that our industry moves with the times and embraces the green agenda."

"The event also raised £200 for the Ayrshire Forrest Education Initiative which provides learning resources to Ayrshire schools about trees, forests and recycling."

All of the event's attendees were encouraged to join the Green Tourism Business Scheme, a tourism certification scheme, managed by VisitScotland and supported by Scottish Enterprise.

Nick Nairn joined the event's other speakers, local B & B owner Nick Quick, Jim Eccleston from Taylor Nelson Sofres and Andrew Ford from AA Food Services.

For more information about the Green Tourism Business Scheme contact 01738 632162.