University of Dundee

Dundee Cell Products: supplying life sciences technology and services

University of Dundee spinout company Dundee Cell Products provides life-sciences technology and reagents to the academic research community and biotech involved in the discovery and development of new drugs

As sophisticated proteomics methodologies are increasingly embraced by both academics and industry across the globe, growth in this area is set to explode. Professor Angus Lamond FRS FRSE at the School of Life Sciences has been at the forefront of developing sophisticated proteomics technology to allow comprehensive analysis of the components of human macromolecular complexes, organelles and cells. During this work, Professor Lamond and his postdoctoral fellow at the time Dr Paul Ajuh, quickly recognized that a major stumbling block was access to high quality and reliable reagents needed for these studies as well as access to appropriate proteomics platforms and expert data analysis. Dundee Cell Products (DCP) was created in 2006 to fill this niche in the market, taking advantage of the expertise in cell biology, proteomics and mass spectrometry developed in the University. The main strengths (and selling point) of the company were to be the quality of their products and the high level of expertise of the individuals involved in the company.

Now in its eighth year, DCP provides new cutting edge technology services to biotech, pharma and academic customers throughout the UK and worldwide. Researchers in Europe, North America and Asia, as well as multinational biotechnology companies are using products and services from DCP. Links with Professor Lamond and the company have continued and this has brought benefit to the portfolio the company can offer.  For example, the laboratory of Professor Lamond was the first in the UK and one of the first worldwide to adopt and optimise a procedure called SILAC, a technique based on mass spectrometry that detects differences in protein abundance among samples using non-radioactive isotopic labeling. It was quickly realised that there was commercial demand for expertise and reagents associated with this powerful and reliable workflow and as a result, provision of this technology was adopted in the products and services offered by Dundee Cell Products to the biotechnology community.

The company continues to grow and has been able to recruit highly skilled staff from the School of Life Sciences, providing jobs for postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers from the University. Dr Francesco Rao, a former CLS Postdoctoral Fellow, is now the Chief Scientific Officer of DCP.