Investment for Inverness life sciences firm

Inverness-based LifeScan Scotland — owned by Johnson & Johnson — is to embark on an £8.7 million investment to innovate the research, development and manufacturing capabilities of its newest technologies.

LifeScan Scotland is Scotland’s largest life sciences company and currently employs more than 1,100 people in Inverness, developing and manufacturing products for the treatment of diabetes.

This ranges from the development of meters and software for people to self-monitor blood glucose levels to the manufacture of test strips that the meters use.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is supporting the company with an investment of £1.85 million as part of the plan, which will support more than 600 jobs associated with the new technologies.

LifeScan said the project will boost the company’s revenue, strengthen its global position and international market share and enhance the status of the Inverness facility.

Confirming the HIE contribution to the plans, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Derek Mackay, said: “LifeScan is a global leader in diabetes research and a great example of an innovative company that is benefiting from what Scotland has to offer as an attractive location for global life sciences companies.

“The continued investment in Scotland by LifeScan and the contribution from HIE is testament to our thriving life sciences industry and its position as a key growth sector for the Scottish economy and proof of the skill and value of the Scottish workforce.”

Andreas Kreitz, worldwide director of diabetes care manufacturing at Johnson & Johnson, added: “Our investment plan, and the grant support from HIE, will enable LifeScan Scotland to research and test alternative, more cost-effective materials and production methods that will increase productivity and enable us to serve our global customers better.”

Alex Paterson, HIE chief executive, said: “This investment by the company reinforces Inverness’s position as a global R&D centre, and will ensure LifeScan technology continues to be at the global forefront of the monitoring and treatment of diabetes.”

There are more than 70 life sciences organisations operating in the Highlands and Islands.

The sector is worth an estimated £131.1 million, supporting nearly 1,800 full time equivalent jobs.

The sector turns over £3.1 billion across Scotland, with around 640 organisations employing more than 32,000 people.

It is a key growth sector in the Highlands and Islands and a priority for HIE.