Professor Ian Johnston and Dr Tom Ashton

December 4, 2013

Our next meeting will be held on Wednesday 11 December 2013 at 7.45 am for 8.00 am in Alexander’s Restaurant, Best Western Scores Hotel, St Andrews. The cost of the meeting will be £10.50 per person. As usual any guest who may be thinking of joining the Club will be welcome free of charge.

Our guest speakers will be Professor Ian Johnston and Dr Tom Ashton of St Andrews University.

Ian and Tom will talk about how they developed a science business out of research carried out at the University of St Andrews. Xelect Ltd is a genetics company providing a range of services to the aquaculture industry worldwide.

Their lead product is a genetic marker that allows salmon to be selected with 5% increase in fillet yield worth around £680 per metric tonne. Xelect has already licensed the technology to leading salmon breeding companies and has products in development for other traits and species. The company makes money from upfront license fees; a royalty on each egg produced and associated genotyping services.

Ian is currently part-time CEO at Xelect and full-time Professor at the University of St Andrews and Director of the Scottish Oceans Institute at the East Sands. He was elected to a Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1987. The research which produced the first products of the spin-out company was initiated by Tom during his PhD.

Funding for commercialisation of the research was obtained from the Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council. Xelect has also had an investment from SalmoBreed A/S, Norway.

Tom is now Executive Director responsible for the day to day running of the business.

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