Almac cancer research funding boost

Almac has invested £13 million into two cancer research ventures, with £7 million to be spent in Northern Ireland.

The pharmaceutical company, in a partnership with Queen’s University, are set to undertake research into the clinical performance of a drug developed within Northern Ireland. There will also be a project that has the intention of setting up a drug discovery unit in Queen’s Cancer research and Cell Biology centre at Belfast City Hospital.

Almac  is an international organisation providing a comprehensive range of services from research through pharmaceutical development to commercialisation of product. For more information on Almac’s services and the company itself, click here.

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Resourcer and Trainee Recruiter roles at CK!

Interested in a career in recruitment and looking to work with a company who do something a bit different?

The CK Group are a specialist Scientific, Clinical, IT and Engineering recruitment consultancy dealing with the chemical, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, environmental, waste and food industries within the UK and Europe, providing both contract and permanent employment.

We are currently recruiting for Resourcers and Trainee Recruiters to increase our growing recruitment team. These individuals need to be outgoing with lots of personality who are hungry for success and will enjoy the satisfaction of providing a quality, professional service to both clients and candidates.

If you are interested in these roles, please find more information here.

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CK Managing Director’s Charity Bike Ride!

Our Managing Director, Jonathan Hart-Smith, has recently completed a 100 mile bike ride for charity.

Jon rode with several others in aid of Demelza Children’s Hospice, which provides children and their families the opportunity to spend time together doing a range of activities for all ages that they may not have been able to access otherwise. The hospice also provides support in what can often be an isolating time for many families.

The route taken by Jon, which follows the Olympic route from 2012 and traverses Box Hill amongst others, had some “fantastic sights,” alongside a fair amount of drama. One of the members of the group Jon was with came off his bicycle at 35mph, before using his shoulder and head as a brake. Luckily, no major injuries were sustained and the ride was completed with a few bumps, bruises and one significant headache!

A few celebrities also joined the group, cycling for their own charities, amongst those were Location, Location, Location’s Phil Spencer. Jon is pleased to say he has reached his fundraising target and is looking forward to his next challenge!

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Variety in Science Grants to Benefit Research

Chemistry World has recently reported on a study into the effectiveness of the allocation of grant money to the scientific community.

The study, conducted by David Currie and Jean-Michel Fortin, biologists at the University of Ottawa, Canada, found that a series of smaller grants to a wider variety of people and institutions is more conducive to effective and meaningful research than large grants to the ‘elite’ in the scientific community. The conclusions of Currie and Fortin indicate that an increased monetary grant does not increase productivity.

Highly cited studies are seemingly unaffected by the level of funding received. The impact generally comes down to the quality of the researchers, regardless of career stage. Some more experienced scientists could have larger grants but less time to perform studies due to other commitments, such as teaching, and so cannot fully use the grant money. It would therefore be better to disseminate the money to a wider variety of researchers so that more diverse research could be performed.

Essentially, the money from grants is better used to improve the scientific community as a whole, rather than for the benefit a few specific areas of research. By funding the elite institutions, it is probably that the vitality and variety of scientific thought will be significantly dulled.

For an opportunity to involve yourself in the advancement of the scientific community, click here to search our current science jobs

Science Jobs     £1bn funding boost for seven science and research projects      

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Dundee Research Centre Granted £24 million

The University of Dundee’s research centre for the treatment of human diseases has been granted £24 million to continue its work over the next five years, reports Life Sciences Scotland.

The grant has come thanks to the taxpayer, something the Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council Sir John Savill believes to be fantastic. He said “It is important for people to know how crucial their own money has been in uncovering health improvements” such as the MRI scanner.

The funding will allow for the research facility to add a number of new scientists to the team. The work undertaken at the research centre has is part of a worldwide effort, that through various grants has been able to support over 160 staff in over 25 countries. The MRC is dedicated to funding some of the leading medical research in the world through reinvestment of taxpayer’s money.

To search through our research jobs, click here 

Jobs of the week     Science jobs

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Amgen and Astellas Announce Japanese Link

US biotechnology giant Amgen has entered a partnership with Astellas Pharma of Japan in order to provide for the medical needs of Japanese patients, reports www.chemweek.com.

A new business model, combining both companies’ capabilities has been agreed. Amgen’s pipeline candidate drugs are to be joined with Astellas’ knowledge and presence in the Japanese market. Five of Amgen’s pipeline developments, for the treatment of diseases of a cardiovascular nature as well as cancer, are set to be further commercialised and progressed.

A joint venture company will also be established, with the name Amgen Astellas BioPharma, with the intention of enabling Amgen to quickly establish a significant presence in Japan. This is expected to be set up and running by 1st October 2013.

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Click here to see our current science jobs

Pharmaceutical Jobs      

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Sirius Minerals to Create 1,000 Jobs in Yorkshire

Sirius Minerals has recently completed its first successful exploratory borehole at the York Potash project, and has received a grant from the UK government, reports proactiveinvestors.co.uk.

The £2.8 million grant is in response to the very strong possibility of the polyhalite grade that is being drilled for has been found in the main beds is of particularly high grade in the range presented in the York exploratory targets. The grant, which was given the day after the discoveries is intended to help the regional development of the area.

The Yorkshire based project is expected to create 1,000 direct jobs and over 4,000 indirect jobs, as well as supplying the UK with a long-term source of potash, which is used in the agricultural industry. The discovery and government aid has also seen Sirius Mineral’s share prices double in a month.

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GSK plans to build UK factory and create 1,000 jobs

As reported in This is Money.co.uk, the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is planning on building it’s first new UK factory in 30 years. This will create 1,000 jobs.

As Andrew Witty, CEO of GSK explains, the plan comes are a result of tax breaks on innovation introduced by Chancellor George Osbourne,  ‘Because of changes in the UK tax regime, it will be our intention to bring more activity to Britain and take advantage of the situation here and increase our contribution to Britain. If it [corporation tax] is going to come down over the next few years, it will attract us to pay more tax here.’

The global pharma are considering Cumbria, County Durham and two locations in Scotland for their new factory. A decision is expected to be made in May.

Looking for a new position in the Pharmaceutical Industry? Click here to search our current pharmaceutical jobs now.

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20% of UK Workforce has a Science Job

The Financial Times has reported that approximately one fifth of the UK workforce has a science based job.

5.8 million people are scientists or use science skills daily, the Science Council has discovered in a recent study. The number includes ‘secondary science workers’ such as nurses or software engineers. Scientists were found to be in industries as diverse as education, finance and farming, as well as more traditional scientific sectors, such as the chemical industry.

Chief executive of the Science Council, Diana Garnham, has said that secondary science roles can be “found literally everywhere in the economy.” The research indicates that by 2030, there could be over 7 million people involved in science in some way, prompting Diana Garnham to say “the research begins to explain… why there is such huge demand for people with science qualifications.”

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Teesside's Renewable Energy Renaissance

The Financial Times has reported that Teesside is becoming a hotbed for renewable energy investment, with around thirty low carbon investments.

These investments are set to be added to, with various proposals set to be implemented. They range from an anaerobic energy research plant to a processing plant for over 400,000 tonnes of household waste to a £200 million advanced gasification plant for the new energy and technology plant near Billingham. These will all create jobs and investment.

Another proposed scheme is the Tenergis project, which will process crude oil and produce diesel, kerosene and hydrogen. The North East of England Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC) estimates over 50 million metric tonnes of waste is produced annually, with over three quarters being recyclable. NEPIC believes the government should review its policies on industry and energy to protect the UK’s industrial base from carbon taxation. The hesitancy has left projects such as a £500 million biomass plant on hold in the area.

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Amnis Bought Out by Division of Merck

EMD Millipore, the life sciences arm of pharmaceutical company Merck, has purchased cell imaging instrument manufacturer Amnis Corporation, reports inpharm.com.

Jonathan DiVincenzo, head of life sciences at EMD, has said that the deal improves the company’s flow cytometry range and will create “tremendous value for our customers’ research outcomes.” Amnis’ products are used in flow cytometry applications across various fields including biotech and pharmaceutical cell analysis.

DiVincenzo went on to add that “with this acquisition, EMD Millipore becomes the only provider of this technology.” David Basiji, Amnis chief executive, believes becoming park of Merck will “accelerate product development”for his company. The deal is expected to go through in the final quarter of this year.

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CK Celebrate 20 Years of Scientific Recruitment!

Here at the CK Group, we are proud to announce that we have reached our 20th year of science-based recruitment!

We would therefore like to say a big thank you to all of our fabulous clients who we have had the pleasure of working with over the past 20 years.

Not already working with CK?

With 20 years of experience behind us you can be assured that we know our stuff, so why not consider using one of CK’s dedicated divisions next time you are expanding your team or looking for a new position:

 

Contact Us

Want more information about how we can help you? We’d love to hear from you. Please contact us on + 44 (0) 1438 743 047 or email info@ckagroup.co.uk. You can also visit our website: www.ckagroup.co.uk.

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Google Chairman Criticises UK Science Sector

Eweekeurope.co.uk has reported that Google chairman Eric Schmidt believes the UK to be throwing away its science and technology heritage.

Schmidt criticised the lack of effort put into trying to ignite young people’s passion for science, particularly IT, which is not compulsory past fourteen. The IT courses available at GCSE level were also criticised for teaching how to use, not how to create software. Schmidt believes the answer is to recombine art and science, as was the norm in the Victorian era. Authors such as Lewis Carroll are cited as examples; he taught maths at Cambridge whilst writing Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

The Google chairman went on to add that the separation of science and humanities, and the lack of championing of the science subjects in schools, is hurting the amount of students applying for undergraduate courses in science at university. Furthermore, though the UK sees a lot of small start-ups, most end up selling to large multi-national companies, something Schmidt says needs to change in order for Britain to re-emerge as a potential scientific leader

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1,500 Energy Jobs to be Created in Scotland

The BBC has reported that over the next ten years 1,500 jobs could be created in the energy industry in Scotland.

Scottish Power’s recruitment announcement is reported at a time when the employment statistics continue to be a worry. The jobs are needed to complete an upgrade of the power grid in line with the government’s renewable energy targets. The investment into the power grid and an “aging workforce” mean new staff are needed.

£3 billion is expected o be spent over the next ten years in order to improve over 500 miles of power lines, giving three times more capacity to carry power through the grid. Graduate engineers, apprentices and technicians are expected to be the people targeted for the new jobs. Scottish Power’s announcement, it is hoped, will help in reducing the unemployed across Scotland.

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30 Jobs to be Created – Lancashire Recycling Plant

A waste recycling plant is set to be opened in Darwen, Lancashire, pending approval by the council, reports the BBC.

SITA UK, who are developing the £5 million site believe the project will create up to 30 jobs at a site on Lower Eccleshill Road. The Materials Recycling Facility is designed to sort 35,000 tonnes of material annually, including plastic, cans, card and paper from Lancashire commercial businesses, rather than household waste.

The plans for the site are expected to be sent to the Council by the end of August in order to develop the facility as soon as possible. The facility will allow for materials to be unloaded, sorted and bailed within the site, excluding glass, which will have to be sorted outside in a specially designed area.

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QinetiQ Sells Fuel Business to Intertek

The QinetiQ Group, based in Farnborough, is selling off its fuel and lubricants business for £500,000, reports insidermedia.com.

The Intertek Group is to take over the UK Fuel and Lubricants Testing Business (OALTB), which QinetiQ has sold in order to concentrate on their core services, including aerospace and security. Intertek is going to bring the fuel business into the pharmaceutical and chemical division of their operations.

This is the third recent acquisition by Intertek, who have also purchased Stoke based Food Analytical Laboratories Limited (FAL) and Rechere Developpement and Consulting (RDC), based in Brussels. Wolfhart Hauser, CEO of Intertek, has said the purchases “demonstrate Intertek’s progress in its strategy to add new expertise and capabilities across the supply chain.” He later commented that the firm is looking forward “to welcoming these companies and their management teams to Intertek.”

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North West Biomedical Firms Receive Investment

Two biomedical companies, Alchemy Healthcare and Future Medical Technologies, are to each receive £50,000 from the North West Fund for Biomedical, reports pharmatimes.com.

The North West Fund is run by venture capital firm SPARK Impact and supplies debt and equity funding to small and medium sized businesses in the North West of England. Alchemy Healthcare has developed a nasal device for administering treatments in order to avoid injections. The investment they will receive will be used to “complete various elements of tooling and a modest clinical trial,” said Ian Harrison, the firm’s founder. They also hope to receive the results soon and receive further investment.

Future Medical Technologies has developed a polymer to mimic cartilage that is used to help arthritis, improving patient care. The investment will be used to speed development of the product and gain further regulatory approval. Dr Yousef Taktak has called the investment a “great opportunity.”

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EU Research Budget Increase Good News For UK

Timeshighereducation.com has reported a 23% increase in the EU’s research budget, meaning that €1.6 billion is available for frontier research.

Overall funding for the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme has risen to €7 billion (£6.4 billion), the European Research Council (ERC) being the main benefactor, with the increase in their budget. Jerzy Langer, professor at the Polish Academy of Sciences, believes the UK are the main winners in investment, but praises politicians for listening to scientists and granting money without guaranteed returns.

Richard Jones, pro vice-chancellor of research and development at Sheffield University, believes this “is good news for us in an environment in which our own research councils’ funding is being squeezed.” Despite the funding having no real guarantees the ERC funding has traditionally led to good results; such as the winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2010, Konstantin Novoselov of the University of Manchester, being able to conduct his research thanks to an ERC grant. Around €80 billion in GDP growth and 450,000 jobs are expected to be created in the next 15 years thanks to the increased funds.

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Cornwall Science Park to Create 750 Jobs

Goonhilly space facility, Cornwall, is being turned into a science park with the aim to create 750 jobs, reports thisiscornwall.co.uk.

GES Ltd, who own the site, applied for a £7 million grant to accelerate the proposals, claiming businesses such as QinetiQ are interested in involving themselves with the site. The UK Space Agency is also said to be interested in the site’s development. The site will have links to various universities, allowing them access to the facilities which will “provide an environment for collaboration between industry and academia.”

The site is expected to become a scientific, technological and engineering hub, with opportunities for businesses in those sectors being put forward alongside the application for the government grant. GES’ Ian Jones has said with the funding, “we can accelerate this opportunity and create high volumes of high-tech jobs, which will have significant knock on benefits for Cornwall.”

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GSK to Profit From Sale of Non-Core Assets

At least three private equity firms are planning a bid for GSK non-prescription drugs, reports Reuters.

The products being bid for include over the counter painkillers and vitamin supplements. These sales are the product of GSK’s reduction of non-core products announced in February, representing 10% of the consumer healthcare business. Bids for the products are expected on 8th August, but will be negotiable. CEO Andrew Witty expects the deals to close in the fourth quarter of 2011 before adding that GSK will be looking for the best deal for shareholders to benefit.

Rival companies are unlikely to bid for all the products GSK is looking to offload, worth a maximum of around £2 billion. However because the products will not be sold as a single body, analysts believe that GSK will not be able to make that amount. The lack of coherence in the products on sale, other than, as one analyst says “stuff that GSK doesn’t want,” also means it will be difficult to sell the portfolio for such an amount in one go.

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