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Scottish virtual human tissue biobank plays vital role in COVID-19 fight

A Scotland-based virtual biobank dealing in ethically sourced human tissue samples is helping to speed up the provision of COVID-19 samples for researchers and drug developers working to find a cure for the global pandemic.

Tissue Solutions Ltd, founded in 2007, responded to the UKCRC Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre’s (TDCC) call to action in helping to triage requests of COVID-19 tissue samples to streamline the fight against the virus.

The company, which sources and ships bespoke tissue samples worldwide from its base in Glasgow – will help ensure that there is no waste of the limited supply of COVID-19 samples, as demand continues to rise with thousands of researchers trying to increase their understanding of the virulent disease.

The company will support the TDCC in analysing each tissue request to ensure that there is no duplication of studies and will recommend where researchers can work and share developments with each other, to promote faster findings. With their scientific insight, Tissue Solutions will also help to make sure that the limited supply of samples is shared with experienced researchers. Tissue Solutions is well placed to work with the TDCC thanks to its wealth of industry expertise and global reach.

Over the coming months, TDCC will coordinate biobanks’ access to COVID-19 samples, with Tissue Solutions making itself available for collaboration. The company’s strong ethics framework will give researchers all the necessary ethics approvals to move forward as quickly as possible. Furthermore, Tissue Solutions will manage the shipping and logistics for these biobanks.

Morag McFarlane, CEO at Tissue Solutions Ltd, said: “Scientists across the UK have lifesaving work to do as Coronavirus sweeps across nations worldwide, so COVID-19 resources must be shared effectively. This shift in operations with TDCC is playing an important role in the efforts to speed up our understanding of the disease.

“We’re making sure that researchers can access the material they need. For example, if one team wants to order a blood sample, we will look into their study and make sure that they are not asking for more than necessary, so that other researchers can use the same sample, too.”

To help with the triaging process, the TDCC is calling on researchers to fill in an online form to record their requests for human tissue samples.

Phil Quinlan, Director at TDCC, said: “I am thrilled that Tissue Solutions Ltd has responded to our call to action. Their expertise in refining research requests will be incredibly valuable in maximising the use of available COVID-19 tissue samples in the UK. We look forward to developing our processes to ensure the efficient release of samples to advance COVID-19 research.”

Tissue Solutions is leading the way in disrupting the traditional method of tissue supply and storage. Every sample is sourced on demand, ensuring that each one is collected to specific requirements and delivered when fresh so that nothing is wasted.

For further information on the partnership and Tissue Solutions Ltd, please contact the press office at or M: 07595 106459

COVID-19 and business continuity

We would like to reassure you that it is business as usual and provide an update regarding our response to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus as well as our commitment to serving you and your critically important work moving forward.
Here are the measures that the Intelligent Tissues Group, comprising Tissue Solutions Ltd and HistologiX Ltd, is implementing relating to the COVID-19 outbreak to ensure the business continues uninterrupted.

Our top priorities are to continue running client projects without disruption, along with protecting the wellbeing and health of our staff. While we continue to be fully operational and sample acquisition has not yet been affected, we are aware that circumstances may arise that impact on our collection rates and overall availability of human biomaterials. We will continue to monitor this and we will be providing frequent updates through our website and our social media channels.

As a response to the developing situation we have made some changes to our normal practices and put in place contingency plans to allow further changes if they are required.

These changes include:

• Replacing client visits and conference attendant to virtual meetings
• Work-from-home initiatives where possible
• Encouraging staff to minimise all travel during this period
• Following the Public Health Policy and government advice to ensure we comply with changing regulations as they happen.
• Monitoring our extensive network of collection sites for changes in their operations

Our companies are well prepared, our IT infrastructure and processes are robust and we are well positioned to adapt our workflows to minimise the impact of the current situation. Our goal is to provide uninterrupted levels of support to our clients during this period of uncertainty.
We encourage you to reach out to your business development representative or our customer service team at as questions or potential changes to your requirements arise. They are here and ready to help!
Finally, our thoughts go out to all those affected by COVID-19, and we extend our thanks to researchers who are working to develop new diagnostics, therapies, and vaccines, as well as those who are helping to directly care for patients in this difficult time.

Please connect with our social media channels as we will keep in touch daily.

Many thanks for your understanding and please stay safe.

Scientific Sales Support Administrator

Due to the continued growth of the business, Tissue Solutions Ltd. is looking for a Scientific Administrator to join our growing team in Glasgow. The role will provide admin and sales support for our Logistics, Tissue Sourcing and Business Development teams. We are ideally looking for someone with a scientific background, a keen eye for detail and experience in order processing or sales administration.

To see the full job description click here..

If you would like to apply then please send your CV and cover letter stating your salary expectations to

UK Biobank of the Year Award Nomination

We are delighted to announce that we have been nominated for the UK Biobank of the Year Award 2019!

Biobank of the Year Award 2019

The Tissue Solutions team has been nominated for Biobank of the Year 2019. The event is run each year by the UKCRC Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre, and is the premier event for all those working in the human tissue sector.

The award seeks to recognise biobanks who have made a significant contribution to research and will be presented on 19th November at the UK Biobanking Showcase in Nottingham.

Aquila BioMedical, A Concept Life Sciences Company carry out world-leading blood derived macrophage assays for clients around the globe. Tissue Solutions entered a case study to demonstrate how they had supported Aquila BioMedical’s research. Aquila BioMedical have developed a panel of in vitro assays using functioning macrophages from blood obtained from Tissue Solutions, providing relevant human data on potential cancer therapeutics.

Tissue Solutions coordinated the recruitment of specific numbers of healthy donors on specific days. Bloods were drawn from these donors at different time during the day and samples couriered directly to Aquila for immediate use in the lab. Freshness of sample is a critical factor in these cutting-edge macrophage assays.

The successful completion of the project resulted from clear lines of communication, coordination with Tissue Solutions providing the collection and shipping functions and Aquila BioMedical providing the lab expertise, to successfully advance research in the anti-cancer field.

Tissue Solutions Ltd wins Queen’s Award for Enterprise….Again!

Tissue Solutions Ltd, an award winning virtual biobank and tissue acquisition company that helps researchers ethically source biological materials, has won the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category.  Now in its 53rd year, these awards are announced on the Queen’s birthday and are one of the UK’s highest accolades recognising business achievement.  It is the second time Tissue Solutions has been recognised for its excellence in International Trade, having also collected the award in 2014.

Commanded by CEO Dr Morag McFarlane, the company has been supplying high quality human biomaterials and scientific expertise to multinational companies since 2007.  It is now an established and reputable supplier of biospecimens, and the only UK-owned human tissue acquisition group.  Sourcing through a global network, the company provides scientists with biomaterials for pre-clinical research across the drug development pipeline, from identification and validation, screening and testing, right through to pre-clinical trials.  Samples can be anything from fresh tumour samples, used for work on Immuno-Oncology, to skin samples for use in toxicology and dermatological testing of products.  They specialise in supplying samples to stringent specifications, offering exceptional turn-around times and taking care of the logistics of transporting biomaterials across geographical borders.  Samples can also be collected on demand, through the companies volunteer donor database, where volunteers can sign up to donate samples to support research in areas close to their heart.

The award has been presented in recognition of Tissue Solutions’ outstanding business success within International Markets and achieved by continual investment in growth and innovation.  In the last three years, Tissue Solutions has seen overseas growth of 216 per cent and over 80 per cent repeat order success by servicing global clients across Europe, USA, Australia and Asia.  The business currently employs 20 staff and is based at the West of Scotland Science Park in Glasgow.

Dr Morag McFarlane CEO of Tissue Solutions said, “We are thrilled to receive the Queen’s Award again for Enterprise in the International Trade category.  Our foundations were built on the development of a sample acquisition service, and we now also offer a comprehensive range of tissue related CRO services as standard, as well as a range of bespoke services”

Morag said: “The award is an acknowledgment of the effort put in by everyone at Tissue Solutions to ensure the best possible customer service to our clients, who have shown their appreciation by their custom and loyalty.  Our philosophy is that the best research comes from the best samples, and we are proud to be supporting advancements in biomedical research”

For further information on Tissue Solutions visit

For further information or to arrange interviews contact Morag McFarlane on 0141 299 0055 or email

HemaCare and Tissue Solutions Announce Strategic Partnership to Expand Access to Human Disease-State Samples

Advancing discoveries by providing scientists with high-quality disease-state biospecimens to support preclinical and clinical research

(Los Angeles, CA and Glasgow U.K. – March 28, 2019) HemaCare Corporation (OTCMKTS: HEMA), a global leader and trusted brand in the customization of human-derived biological products and services for biomedical research, drug discovery, and cellular therapy process development, and Tissue Solutions Ltd, a leading global provider of diseased human biosamples for research, today announced their partnership to supply customers with an expanded selection of well-qualified disease-state biomaterials in fresh, frozen, and FFPE formats.

Access to patient-donor material is an immense challenge researchers and pharmaceutical companies face when sourcing human starting material. As a therapy or drug moves through research and development to commercialization, the need for donor samples that meet specific disease criteria increases as it offers the closest approximation of real-life cellular responses.

Partnering with Tissue Solutions will allow HemaCare to further meet growing market needs by expanding its current disease-state product portfolio. HemaCare customers will now have access to pathology-verified frozen and FFPE tissues, as well as hard-to-source disease samples such as tumor tissues and dissociated tumor cells isolated from freshly resected tumors.

“HemaCare has seen a high demand from scientists and clinical researchers for blood and other tissue samples from diseased patients,” said Lou Juliano, HemaCare’s SVP of Global Sales and Business Development. “Tissue Solutions is already one of HemaCare’s preferred European distributors and this expanded partnership allows our customers to readily access over 110 million banked human samples sourced through a network of more than 500 qualified suppliers.”

Commitment to supporting scientists is a chief priority for HemaCare and Tissue Solutions. By partnering to expand the disease-state product offerings, researchers will be able to access well-characterized disease-state starting material within a short turnaround time. With faster access to such material, a researcher can accelerate their research timelines and focus on curing human disease.

“We are delighted to expand our partnership with HemaCare as their commitment to quality has always been the best in the industry,” said Morag McFarlane, Ph.D., Tissue Solutions’ Chief Executive Officer. “HemaCare is our preferred apheresis provider and we utilize their extensive donor database for a majority of customer requests. The expanded partnership will help provide HemaCare’s customers with a broadened portfolio of well-qualified disease tissues and normal adjacent tissue or matched tumor tissue from the same donor where necessary.”

HemaCare’s expanded biospecimen portfolio can be found here. For general information about products visit HemaCare’s website at

For more information about Tissue Solutions please visit

About HemaCare

HemaCare is a global leader in the customization of human-derived biological products and services for biomedical research, drug discovery and cellular therapy process development. The company’s network of FDA-registered, GMP/GTP-compliant collection centers ensure fresh donor material is available to customers and for use within HemaCare’s isolation laboratory. Human biological material including peripheral blood, bone marrow, and cord blood is isolated into various primary cells types for fresh and frozen distribution. For over 40 years, HemaCare has developed an extensive registry of repeat donors and provides human-derived primary blood cells and tissues for biomedical and drug discovery research and cell therapy clinical trials, and supports commercialization with apheresis collections, directly enabling customers to advance both autologous and allogeneic cellular therapies.

About Tissue Solutions

Tissue Solutions is a customer-focused global provider of ethically sourced human samples required for preclinical drug development and research. The ISO 9001 (2015) accredited company provides a tissue provision service through a global network to individual requirements ensuring projects are not constrained by access to human biomaterials or collection timelines. Tissue Solutions also offer a comprehensive integrated range of tissue related GLP/GCP compliant IHC and Histology services, offering a single access point for pre-clinical and clinical research. Services include sourcing difficult to obtain samples for a range of applications such as target identification and validation, biomarker studies, companion diagnostics, pharmacogenetics and safety testing. They specialize in sourcing “tough” tissues, e.g. fresh samples, skin biopsies. The management team has a wealth of experience gained from many years in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry with expertise on ethics and compliance, and logistics.

Media Contacts:


Maria Thompson

Tissue Solutions

Fiona Mackenzie

0141 299 0055

Would you like to join us at Tissue Solutions?

We are recruiting again, this time we are looking for a new Business Development/Account Manager to join our growing team. Ideally someone who has experience in the Life Sciences/CRO sector.

If you would like to apply then please send your covering letter, CV along with details of salary expectations to

We are Hiring, Come and Join our Team.

We are Hiring, Come and Join our Team. Due to our continued growth we are now looking for a Clinical Alliances Manager

This is a new position for an experienced Clinical Research Associate or Project Manager who will be responsible for the development of new capabilities in Tissue Solutions’ sourcing capacity in the UK, including recruitment and management of all tissue collection sites under our UK ethical approvals.

This role would suit an entrepreneurial individual with clinical research or project management expertise and a background in life sciences or medicine/nursing. A good fit would be someone who has experience of Good Clinical Practice, preparation of ethics applications for clinical trials and site recruitment. You will need to have a commercial outlook and experience working in a CRO is preferred. Also a good understanding of the regulatory requirements for human tissue and blood collection, ideally for therapeutic use would be beneficial. Experience in the selection of Principal Investigators and developing strong relationships would be advantageous.

If you would like to apply then please send your covering letter, CV along with details of salary expectations to

Tissue Solutions Ltd expands service offering with HistologiX Ltd. acquisition

HistologiX Ltd, a leading GLP/GCP compliant IHC and Histology lab, has been acquired by The Intelligent Tissue Group Ltd, joining Tissue Solutions Ltd, world leaders in human tissue provision, to provide a comprehensive integrated range of tissue related CRO services.

Morag McFarlane, Director of The Intelligent Tissue Group and CEO of Tissue Solutions Ltd said “This acquisition is central to our growth strategy as we extend the range of niche services we offer to our clients. Human tissue is core to developing and testing new therapies and biomarkers, immune oncology along with supporting scientists across a broad range of pre-clinical and clinical R&D processes. I am pleased that one of the founders of HistologiX, Andrew Lawrence and his team will remain with the business. We look forward to working with them to deliver IHC and contract histology services”.

Andrew Lawrence of HistologiX said “We are delighted to be joining Tissue Solutions and to have the opportunity to enhance our potential by continuing to work together in partnership‘’.

Tissue Solutions and HistologiX both share the same core values and work ethics and have worked together synergistically for many years. This partnership formalises their relationship. HistologiX will continue to trade as an independent company as part of The Intelligent Tissue Group Ltd.

Tissue Solutions Ltd, Tel +44 (0)141 299 0055
HistologiX, Tel +44 (0) 115 912 4460

Notes for editors
Tissue Solutions Ltd is a well-established global virtual biobank sourcing ethically acquired, fully consented human tissue and biomaterials to help scientists develop and test new drugs. The company provides a customised tissue provision service, quickly sourcing materials to individual requirements ensuring projects are not constrained by access to human biomaterials or collection timelines.

HistologiX Ltd – is a Leading Independent UK Specialist histopathology company, which is GLP accredited and GCP compliant, providing precision quantitative IHC/ISH, histology services and solutions. HistologiX can assist with immunohistochemistry and in-situ hybridisation, tissue sourcing, Medical/Veterinary Pathologist review, target development and distribution, efficacy studies, xenograft studies, tissue cross-reactivity of therapeutic antibodies and patient recruitment/stratification.


Tissue Solutions and Medicines Discovery Catapult launch service to support UK companies and biobanks

Human samples including tissue, blood and urine, which are essential for medicines research and development, are difficult for small companies working in the field to access. The Medicines Discovery Catapult has launched its second collaborative project to solve this problem. Tissue Solutions, a Scottish provider of ethically sourced human samples required for preclinical drug development and research, will work with the Medicines Discovery Catapult to help UK SMEs and biobanks work together on medical research projects.

The State of the Discovery Nation 2018 report found that 93% of UK SMEs considered access to NHS biosamples for commercial development as hugely important, yet 64% had difficulty in accessing UK tissue samples for medical research. Difficulties due to access leads to 75% of diagnostic SMEs using non-UK sample sources instead. The key issue faced by companies is the process of agreeing and delivering sample access. Although some biobanks in the UK have overcome this issue, many have not, and the problem of access to UK samples remains an area of concern.

Medicines Discovery Catapult is helping to tackle this issue via a new collaboration project which will create a joint team with Tissue Solutions, focussed on supporting UK research companies making agreements with UK biobanks for commercial R&D. Glasgow-based Tissue Solutions is the UK’s specialist provider of ethically sourced human biological samples, with a global customer and supplier network.

The partnership is a two-year commitment supporting the use of consented human samples from UK patients for medical research and development. The partnership complements Medicines Discovery Catapult’s current collaboration with the UK’s Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre, which will make consented samples easier to find.

Mr Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Scottish Government, says:

“It is important for a thriving R&D drug development sector that access to the building blocks of discovery science is enabled for the future health of the population. This collaboration between the Medicines Discovery Catapult and Tissue Solutions is confirmation of the strength of Scottish Life Sciences companies and clearly shows that Scotland is an excellent place to do business.”

Chris Molloy, Chief Executive of the Medicines Discovery Catapult, said:

“The UK has millions of samples and billions of data points collected from UK patients who have generously agreed for them to be used in medical research. Yet we know small companies struggle to access them. That’s a major barrier to the UK’s R&D productivity and represents a missed opportunity for growing the sector. In a globally competitive environment, we must ensure SMEs involved in drug discovery are given all they need to maintain the UK’s strong heritage position in medicines R&D.”

Morag McFarlane, CEO of Tissue Solutions, said:

“Sitting at the interface between Biobanks and scientists working on cutting edge projects is a privileged position to be in. We understand that the best research comes from the best samples. We are committed to providing the very highest quality samples to help advancements in biomedical research and this collaboration will secure the best samples for UK-based organisations.”

Sophia Turner, from UseMYdata patient group, said:

“The use of samples is vital to improve understanding of health and disease. When patients donate samples for medical research, they want to see them used to improve medicines and treatments. This agreement is an important step to ensure they are used as patients intend.”