AltaBioscience – 50 years of Advancing Research in Life Science
This year, AltaBioscience celebrates its 50th anniversary. Originally founded in 1973, by Professor John Fox and a team of protein scientists at the University of Birmingham, its primary purpose was to assist resident researchers with fast and reliable core facility services, initially providing amino acid analysis and carbohydrate analysis. Armed with expert knowledge, they set up an onsite service dedicated to accelerating bioscience research, saving researchers months, sometimes years, of work than if they were to develop the reagents or perform the analyses themselves.
As Prof. John Fox, founder of AltaBioscience, recalls,
“We wanted to provide our researchers with cutting-edge services that would push their research forward. As scientists, we knew the importance of being at the forefront of research, and we had extremely high standards regarding the services we wanted to provide.”
With the idea of providing unparalleled services that would push the boundaries of bioscience, the company, originally called Macromolecular Services, was born. The name change to AltaBioscience, composed of “alta” of Latin origin, meaning high and bioscience, came shortly after as additional services such as peptide synthesis and N-terminal sequencing were added.
Rapidly, AltaBioscience became known for the quality and reliability of its services, resulting in extending its offering to other universities, research institutions and commercial companies in the biotech sector in the UK and worldwide. Growing more successful year on year also led to a need for larger premises. In 2018, AltaBioscience moved from the University of Birmingham to Redditch on the outskirt of Birmingham, where it is now located.
Experts in peptide and protein chemistry, the laboratory is known for providing a comprehensive range of analytical and synthesis services, including amino acid analysis, N-terminal protein sequencing, peptide and DNA synthesis, antibody generation and a protein identification service using mass spectroscopy and HPLC.
AltaBioscience’s success over half a century is not only due to its high level of technical expertise and commitment to quality but because of its continuous emphasis on providing bespoke solutions, innovative thinking and access to its scientists. Marion Peak, managing director at AltaBioscience, explains,
“Our customers are at the heart of what we do, and we work to stay at the forefront of their expectations. Whether it is by giving direct access to our scientists for direct client communication, by providing tailored solutions or by developing new methods to accommodate their needs, we believe our technical competencies, flexibility and desire to build long-lasting relationships are our core strengths that have underpinned our success and longevity.”
With advancements in peptide and protein technologies and applications booming over the last 50 years, AltaBioscience has also seen a diversification of its customer base. Initially serving the academic sector, AltaBioscience is now collaborating with companies working across diverse industries such as the life sciences, pharmaceuticals, food & feed, agricultural and cosmetics industries.
“From developing peptide therapeutics to unmet diseases, combating antimicrobial resistance or fighting climate change with new food using alternative protein sources, we are thrilled to be able to help researchers solve urgent global problems with our services, and we look forward to continuing to do so in the years to come.”
AltaBioscience provides amino acid analysis, protein sequencing and custom peptide synthesis services globally. With a heritage dating back to 1973, the company serves an international customer base that includes academic, pharmaceutical, healthcare and food industry-related researchers and product development specialists.
AltaBioscience is accredited to ISO/IEC 17025:2017 by UKAS, the National Accreditation Body for the United Kingdom, for its demonstrated expertise, technical ability and commitment to quality in amino acid analysis and N-terminal protein sequencing.