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BioFilm loan boost

Dissolving film specialist BioFilm Holdings has secured funding of £750,000 from the Scottish Loan Fund (SLF), to help develop its US footprint.

The Blantyre-based firm focuses on producing thin dissolving films, which dissolve in contact with moisture and carry active ingredients.

They are used in over-the-counter (OTC) nutritional, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic products, including teeth-whitening strips and mouth ulcer patches.

Formerly part of Moodiesburn-based Devro plc, developing edible thin films for the meat industry, the business now mainly concentrates on the consumer healthcare market.

As well as the UK, it sells to countries including Mexico, Poland, Australia and the US, where retail sales hit $33 billion in 2013, and whose OTC market the company says offers "considerable" growth potential.

BioFilm this year signed an agreement to grow its North American business with North Carolina-based life sciences business development firm Technology Commercialization Group.BioFilm chief executive Trevor Morgan said the SLF funding will let the company develop its "strong" foundations.

The funding is the 18th transaction by the SLF, which has supported SMEs across Scotland since 2011, and was set up by the ­Scottish Investment Bank (SIB), the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise.

SIB head Kerry Sharp said BioFilm has been in the lender's portfolio for several years, where it's made "great strides, breaking into the European market, expanding the work force and upgrading its facilities".

The SLF is managed by Maven Capital Partners, whose investment director David Milroy said the OTC market "represents a potentially lucrative market for businesses able to offer a consumer-friendly alternative to existing formulations" given relatively short times to market and sales growth exceeding that of prescription drugs.

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