Biopharm’s New Celtic Connection:Cymru

Everyone knows that Ireland has become a hotbed of biopharma R&D, but Wales is also becoming a far more significant player. Tomorrow will see the launching of Bio Wales 2007, and a new R&D company, Morvus, which has set up shop at the National Botanical Gardens. (The company's management  is actively seeking talent, and will hire 50 high level bioscience specialists---can't imagine a nicer setting in which to work). Here's what the company has to say about itself.... An innovative and rapidly expanding pharmaceutical R&D company will announce on Thursday March 15 that  it is establishing its headquarters in Wales, where it is set to create more than fifty high level bioscience jobs   Morvus Technology Ltd - led by a team of experienced biotechnology entrepreneurs with a history of commercial and scientific success - has taken a lease on the entire 14,000 sq ft  purpose-built Science Centre at the National Botanical Garden of Wales, Llanarthne, in Carmarthenshire.   The announcement coincides with the launch of BioWales 2007 when Morvus' CEO Dr Phil Burke is addressing the conference.   The Company's decision to locate its administration and research centre in Wales has been fully supported by the Welsh Assembly Government through Regional Selective Assistance and its International Business Wales bioscience team.   Enterprise Minister Andrew Davies described it as a significant coup that would significantly boost Wales' position as growing centre for R&D in life sciences and provide an economic boost for the local economy.   Morvus Technology was formed April 2004 and is involved in the discovery and development of new drugs - particularly for the treatment of cancer  - up to the point of clinical trials. These are then licensed to other pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies for further development and clinical studies.   It plans to create 54 jobs over the next three years including biologists, chemists and senior management, that will enable the company to accelerate the development of existing product lines and increase the size of its technology pipeline   Dr Phil Burke, Chief Executive of Morvus, said that the move to Wales was an excellent opportunity for the Company to accelerate the expansion of its business and that key attractions for moving to Wales were the academic and medical infrastructure already in place to support pharmaceutical R&D and opportunities to collaborate with leading scientists in Welsh universities.   Morvus funds research in a number of universities and hopes to form strong links with the University of Wales, Swansea where the £50million Institute of Life Science opens later this year.   The Minister said Wales was attracting significant investment in the life sciences sector and developing a critical mass of highly innovative companies backed by world class expertise in Welsh universities.   He said the investment by Morvus follows a raft of recent announcements that include a new Boots Centre for Innovation within Swansea University's Institute of Life Science and the £16m Imaging Centre in Cardiff University's School of Medicine - dedicated facilities for international research by healthcare companies and researchers.   "The life sciences are a strategic sector for Wales which has an international reputation for the world class quality of research being undertaken here. It is a sector that has strong support from the Assembly Government which has created an effective and supportive business environment that is attracting innovative highly respected companies like Morvus.   "The investment by Morvus Technology is particularly exciting because the team behind the Company are highly experienced entrepreneurs with a track record of creating new successful wealth creating businesses. Research-led companies like Morvus are at the heart of the knowledge economy and the type of company we want to foster in Wales."   The Director of the National Botanic Garden of Wales, Kevin Lamb said: "It is excellent news that Morvus has chosen the Garden for their headquarters in Wales. It is a scientific coup for the Garden and a landmark achievement for this part of west Wales."   "I'm delighted to welcome them here and I'm sure it marks the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership between us and our new neighbours."