JAPANESE regenerative medical firm ReproCELL is to merge two of its companies, with the new group based in Glasgow.

Biopta and Reinnervate will merge to form ReproCELL Europe with the aim of strengthening ReproCELL’s pharmaceutical industry-targeted drug discovery services and products through the integration of Biopta’s human tissue services with Reinnervate’s stem cell and 3D cell culture expertise.

Biopta, which counts eight of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies among its clients and has worked on more than 500 potential new medicines, was spun out of Glasgow Caledonian University in 2002 by its co-founders, Dr David Bunton, and Professor Chris Hillier. Dr Bunton has been named chief executive of ReproCELL Europe. Reinnervate was spun out of Durham University.

The company aims to grow its 21-strong workforce by 25 per cent over the next three years and plans to move to larger premises in Glasgow within the next nine months.

Dr Bunton, said: “The merger of the two UK companies is a great opportunity to build on the solid platform Biopta has in outsourced drug discovery services and combine this with Reinnervate’s expertise in 3D cell culture and stem cell technology.”

He added that as the drug market moves towards a personalised medicine approach, the company will be able to increase its market share by expanding its range of human tissue drug discovery assays and accelerate product launches.