Synergy in action

Early Identification of Patient Variability and Pharmacogenomic. A new approach to the Development of Precision Medicines.

Project lead

Biopta UK Ltd, a leading CRO based in Glasgow, U.K. since 2002. Biopta provide contract research services to the pharmaceutical industry and is a world-leader in the use of fresh functional human tissues to better predict drug efficacy prior to starting clinical trials.


Ethically sourced fresh, functional human tissue offers a way to predict the efficacy in patient sub-populations during pre-clinical development. Tissue obtained that is residual to surgery or from non-transplantable organs closely predicts patient responses and provides an accurate translation of preclinical drug efficacy to clinical responses. The project focused on Biopta’s observations that in vitro responses to known drugs using human tissue samples collected from patients with irritable bowel disease (IBD) or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can vary quite significantly between patients. The project aims to better understand this behaviour by comparing responses obtained ex vivo with the genotype of the tissue donors.

The objective

To be greater than the sum of our parts by combining the research power of the Scottish organisations involved and offer a new way to link genomics to the prediction of clinical efficacy at an early stage in drug development.


SMS: co-ordinating delivery of the project as well as being the core provider and delivering the sequencing on tissue samples provided by Biopta.

NHS Scotland: Lothian, Tay, Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Unis: Univ of Edin, Univ of Dundee SMEs: Fios genomics, Sistemic and Biopta

Biopta UK Ltd led this nine-member collaboration to look at new ways to link genomics to the predictions of clinical efficacy. The consortium members were really engaged to meet these challenges and worked seamlessly across the NHS, industry and academia; as a result the project will finish two months ahead of schedule. We are now evaluating a number of commercial opportunities to roll out this model.

Dr David C. Bunton

CEO, ReproCELL Europe Ltd (previously Biopta UK Ltd)

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