Since forming in 2011, the CRO has built a strong reputation for supporting biotech and pharmaceutical companies’ early drug development programs through offering specialized assays to investigate therapeutic manipulation of immune cell function.
The success of Aquila’s immuno-oncology offering has supported growth of both the scientific team and laboratory space in Edinburgh’s bioincubator building. The team of 14 has more than doubled in the last year and is likely to reach 22 in 2017.
Funding from Scottish Enterprise’s Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) grant has allowed the CRO to accelerate its recruitment plans and expand through investment in people and capital equipment. Aquila has added capacity to offer assays using an IncuCyte Zoom, allowing its team to deliver insights into cellular processes, such as ‘T cell killing of tumors’ via real-time quantitative live-cell analysis.
“Since our company formed in 2011, it has been our goal to bring innovative models and a new dynamic CRO experience to biotech and pharmaceutical companies across the world,” said Clare Doris, chief operating officer, Aquila BioMedical. “In recent years, we have strategically developed our expert immunology offering, establishing a significant presence in immuno-oncology and building services to deliver high end mechanistic biology in an area of large unmet demand.”
Aquila Histoplex, which specializes in histology, RNAscope and multiplex immunofluorescent staining services, has also been formally integrated into Aquila BioMedical. The division will help to address questions around biomarker and target expression in tumor tissues.
“We have an exceptional team who are highly motivated by the research that we are conducting and we are excited to be advancing company growth, building in dedicated space for tissue culture, multiplex cytokine analysis, flow cytometry and PCR,” said Ms. Doris. “The expansion also provides a new home to our histology services with space for multiple high‑throughput staining robots.”