Ayr-based firm said funding will help develop its existing technology
Infection control specialist Giltech has raised £0.5 million of new investment to further develop a new nasal decolonisation product to tackle the spread of MRSA.
The Ayr-based firm has raised the new funding from a combination of existing shareholders and Scottish Enterprise.
Giltech, which makes high performance wound dressings and powerful anti-bacterial soaps, is working on a new product to combat the spread of MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), which has become increasingly resistant to conventional antibiotics and other preventative measures.
Bacteria are not known to develop resistance to silver, which is active in Giltech’s new product.
Gillian Watson, chief executive of Giltech, said: “This £0.5m funding programme will take us forward in terms of developing our existing technology to the next level.
“We are also confident of overcoming the other potential hurdles of licensing and cost.
“The safety of silver as an antimicrobial in humans is well documented so the regulatory authorities have allowed us to move straight to clinical trials in humans.
“Additionally the simplicity of Giltech’s product has negated the need for an expensive development programme as is typical in the case of new antibiotics.”
Chemical Sciences Scotland, set up in 2007 a partnership bringing together industry, academics and government agencies, recently unveiled a new blueprint to focus on export growth through collaboration.
Scotland's chemical sciences industry – second behind whisky in terms of Scottish export value at £3 billion annually – now accounts for 15 per cent of the UK industry, employing 14,000 directly and 70,000 through dependent services.
The chemicals sector currently accounts for a quarter of Scottish manufacturing by turnover.
Dr Sandy Dobbie, chairman of Chemical Sciences Scotland, said: “Giltech is an example of Scottish company in the chemicals sector that is pioneering research and development into a field that affects our everyday lives.
“Bacteria in hospital wards are a big problem, and Giltech provides the technology to develop products that could help tackle the on-going threat and spread of MRSA.
“So the announcement of a £0.5m investment programme into Giltech is extremely welcome news with positive implications.
“From an economic perspective we know that the chemical sciences sector in Scotland punches above its weight.
“We recently announced ambitious export targets, and chemical sciences is Scotland’s second biggest exporter behind only whisky. Giltech is part of our story of investment and growth.”
Linda Hanna, company growth director at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Giltech is an innovative Scottish SME that is developing technology that could have real benefits for hospitals and the fight against the spread of disease.
“We've been working closely with Giltech to provide support and investment to help the company grow and maximise potential for its latest innovative infection control product.
"Scotland continues to boast a wealth of ambitious companies, like Giltech, who have emerging technologies, products and services with significant global potential across a wide range of industries such as chemical and life sciences.
“We want to see more of them access the wide range of support we have to offer at Scottish Enterprise to make sure that every economic opportunity with significant potential is maximised for Scotland.”