NICOLA Sturgeon was warned about the impact of a no-deal Brexit on Scotland’s life sciences sector when she visited a world-leading joint venture in genomics research.

The First Minister was at IQVIA’s Livingston Alba Campus to mark its expansion with a new genomics testing capability in a joint venture with fellow American firm Quest Diagnostics. They say the service will help pharmaceutical and biotech companies better understand how genes affect people’s health and risk of disease, enabling the development of personalised medicines.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Genomics is an essential element of precision medicine which has the potential to transform the way we treat and prevent disease. Tailoring healthcare to fit an individual’s genetics and lifestyle promises to deliver major benefits in terms of earlier diagnosis, more effective treatment and better targeting of resources.

“Advances in precision medicine have huge potential for Scotland’s longer-term health and prosperity. This latest investment by IQVIA reinforces Scotland’s position as a global leader, and is testament to the skilled workforce and diversity of the Scottish life science sector.”

Tony Brown, vice-president and general manager at the facility, added: “We were delighted to welcome the First Minister to demonstrate how the work we’re doing is improving health outcomes for people in Scotland and much further afield.

“It was also an important opportunity to raise our concerns about the impact of a no-deal Brexit on the prospects for the life sciences sector in Scotland, and the need for measures to be put in place to ensure Scotland maintains its reputation as a centre of excellence in conducting clinical trials across the world.”