TC BioPharm

Biotechnology start-up company TC BioPharm has built a state of the art lab outside Glasgow to bring a radical Japanese immunotherapy treatment to the UK. It could change the face of cancer therapy around the world. Chief Executive Mike Leek tells us about the innovators they need to bring on board to make it happen.

TC Biopharm Limited

What we do

TC BioPharm is a start-up company established as a knowledge-transfer collaboration with Medinet, a company treating cancer patients very successfully in Japan. We were very interested in this treatment system which uses T-lymphocyte cells cultivated from the patient’s own cells. Through this partnership we’ll be able to run clinical trials on the therapy to ensure it adheres to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) clinical compliance, and roll out the treatment to patients in the UK.

What it’s like to work for TC BioPharm

We’re a small but rapidly expanding company with big ambitions to go global. Eventually the plan is to roll the treatment out across the world, starting in the UK, once we have secured the manufacturers’ licence to produce the drug as well as hone our manufacturing processes. We work closely with Medinet to share knowledge and best practice.

We’re looking for team-minded people

People who join us will have the opportunity to be part of something very exciting indeed. A small company like ours demands people who are open to cross-training right from the beginning. You have to be flexible.

It’s important everyone we recruit fits in with our open, honest culture. I fully expect not everything will go to plan, but we’re open enough to avoid a blame culture. That way people can be entrepreneurial. To achieve that we understand that occasional mistakes can be made.

We’re looking for people who are passionate about working for a brand new company like ours, and we’ll be passionate about looking after them.

We have 14 employees now, and aim to increase that to around 20 by the start of 2015. Most of those will be clean-room staff and quality control experts to work in our brand new, state of the art labs in Maxim Business Park, on the outskirts of Glasgow.

Living in Scotland

As an employer, the quality of life on offer to my team is very important and Scotland really does have the choice of everything practically on the doorstep. For a London-style metropolis we have Glasgow while Edinburgh is the cultural capital. The mountains and sea aren’t far away. And there are countless beautiful little villages and towns to live in, if the city is not for you.

You find there are a lot of preconceptions about Scotland, but my message is don’t rely on assumptions - come and find out for yourself. People invariably fall in love with Scotland. I did when I moved here from England.