DSA: The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has signed a 4-year total facilities management contract with Interserve, the services, maintenance & building group. The contract, worth around £12m over its lifetime, has been signed as part of a collaborative procurement process by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA), for agencies across the Department for Transport (DfT) including DSA and the Vehicle & Operator Services Agency (VOSA).
By buying services through one provider, DfT agencies will reduce costs by over 40% and improve services standards across their estate. Interserve will provide services including maintenance, utilities & waste management, cleaning & security and helpdesk, reception & switchboard.
CRUK: Cancer Research Technology, the commercial arm of Cancer Research UK, and Paris-based venture capital firm, Kurma Life Sciences Partners (Kurma), have launched a spin-out company, BliNK Therapeutics Ltd, to generate monoclonal antibodies using a novel platform.
BliNK Therapeutics will develop the novel platform to generate therapeutic & diagnostic monoclonal antibodies towards clinically relevant targets. The technology is based on research carried out by the founding scientists Dr Facundo Batista, at Cancer Research UK’s London Research Institute in collaboration with Professor Vincenzo Cerundolo at the University of Oxford.
The platform technology provides a new way of activating the immune system’s B cells to produce antibodies in response to a specific antigen. Antigens are molecules that cause an immune response and can come from parasites, viruses, bacteria or even cancerous tumour cells, while B cells are the antibody-making factories in the immune system.
ECGD: The Export Credits Guarantee Department, the UK export credit agency, has supported its first export deal under the new Bond Support Scheme. The scheme has supported Glasgow-based CLYDEUNION Pumps' $15m deal to provide safety pumps to China. The deal was taken forward during the Prime Minister's trade visit to China in November 2010.
ECGD's support for the company, which employs more than 900 people in Scotland and Yorkshire and more than 2,000 worldwide, was arranged through HSBC.