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Benchmarking measures for Scottish pharma services


The aim of the research was to provide Scottish Enterprise with recommended measures to benchmark Scottish pharma services against comparative/best in class regions in Europe.


The methodology consisted of a review of existing data and databases related to pharma services in Europe.


The research found that Scotland ranks 6th in Europe for pharma services locations. Scotland has 5 times more pharma services locations relative to Wales, but 0.5 times less locations than England, France and Germany. It is suggested that while Scotland currently has no presence in the area of Contract Manufacturing of Biologics, it is Europe’s major site of production of media for this means of production, with key sites including Thermo Fisher’s manufacturing site in Inchinnan, and Sigma's site (now Merck) in Irvine. The research identified that six of the global top 10 Clinical Research Organisations currently have a presence in Scotland. The 2010 estimation that ‘60% of Scotland’s pharma services companies provide x% of Europe’s biopharmaceutical testing’ was recalculated at 56%. Scottish based organisations were found to hold dominant market positions in the provision of biosafety testing (56%) and media for biomanufacturing (70%). The research found that Scotland is a key site for high-potency manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients (HPAPIs), with 17% of sites actively producing HPAPIs in Europe currently based in Scotland. Scotland was also found to be a leader in the use of iPSCs (induced pluripotent stem cells) for preclinical toxicity and drug discovery, as well as advanced in vivo models for toxicity. The research concluded that Scotland is a player in pharma services at a scale that is well in excess of what would be expected due to its regional size.


The research identified five measures against which it is recommended that Scotland’s pharma services be benchmarked against: landscape density versus Europe; biosafety testing; biomanufacturing media; position within the ADC (antibody–drug conjugates)/HPAPI sector; and level of regional presence of the Clinical Research Global Top 10.

Author Evolution Bioscience
Published Year 2017
Report Type Research
  • Business infrastructure
    Supporting key sectors