By Erikka Askeland

A US laboratory services giant has acquired a stake in an Edinburgh University spin-out to boost its drug discovery capabilities available to clients around the world.

Fios Genomics, which helps pharmaceutical and biotech companies analyse data generated during drug development, said the strategic partnership with Charles River Laboratories was a “game changer” and will enable it to increase headcount from 30 to 50.

The scale of the investment was not disclosed, but Charles River joins business angel syndicate Archangels, Borders-based syndicate Tricapital, the Scottish Investment Bank, and Edinburgh University as shareholders of the firm, which is based at Bioquarter in Edinburgh.

Charles River offers contract research services including animal testing.

“With a presence in more than 20 countries, the Massachusetts-based company said it supported the development of 85 per cent of drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

in 2018.

Dr Sarah Lynagh, chief executive officer at Fios, said: “This partnership takes Fios to the next level, opening up opportunities for the business right around the world.”

It is great news for Fios, for our expert team here in Edinburgh and for our very supportive investors.”

Birgit Girshick, corporate executive vice president at Charles River, said: “The explosion in omics data has been a boon for the drug discovery industry, but analysis and interpretation of these datasets are challenging. Through our partnership with Fios Genomics, Charles River clients will have greater access to the special combination of skills in bioinformatics, statistics and biology required to obtain meaningful information from their data.”