Mission to forge links with US healthcare companies

BUSINESS and political leaders from Yorkshire have headed off to the US in a bid to attract investment from some of the biggest names in the biotechnology sector.

A delegation from Leeds is visiting Boston in the US, which has a cluster of major healthcare and technology companies.

The delegation will target investment and trade opportunities in the US. They will hold meetings with leading US institutions, investors, global leaders and experts in the field, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Cambridge Innovation Centre and Harvard University.

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Members of the delegation are taking part in a trade mission which is being led by UKTI and Health Minister Lord Howe.

The delegation is also being represented at Advamed 2012, one of the world’s biggest technology conferences, which is being held in Boston this week.

Led by Marketing Leeds, working with UKTI, the delegation includes representatives from the Medical Technologies Innovation and Knowledge Centre (IKC) based at the University of Leeds, and a group of medical device companies including Tissue Regenix and Arterius.

Lurene Joseph, the chief executive of Marketing Leeds, said: “The aim of the delegation is to set out the city’s proposition and the unique combination of strengths, expertise and assets Leeds has to offer in medical technologies, health informatics and healthcare.

“It will look to develop commercial collaborations and position Leeds as the natural choice for US companies looking to enter UK and European markets.”

In July, Kirsten Chambers, the head of trade and investment for UKTI in Boston, visited Leeds in a bid to strengthen ties between Yorkshire and the US.

More than 500 biotech and pharmaceutical companies are based in and around Boston, employing nearly 50,000 people.

Professor John Fisher, the director of the Institute of Medical & Biological Engineering at the University of Leeds, said yesterday: “Leeds has world-leading clinical expertise and research capabilities in areas such as regenerative medicine and orthopaedic engineering.

“The university’s Institute of Mechanical and Biological Engineering is the largest multi-disciplinary orthopaedic engineering research group in Europe. It is dedicated to improving the quality of life of an ageing population.”

Adrian Ford, sales manager at Tissue Regenix, added: “Advamed brings together more than 2,000 venture capitalists, private equity investors and industry leaders with industry stakeholders from across the US and around the world.

“We’re seeking to develop commercial collaborations and build relationships with some of the most prestigious research and development facilities in the world, such as MIT.”