US medical firm Daktari Diagnostics to create 126 Scots jobs

Pipette and test tubes
Image caption The life sciences sector in Scotland is worth billions

A US-based medical products company is to locate its manufacturing base to Inverness, creating up to 126 posts.

Daktari Diagnostics is set to produce cartridges for hand-held HIV monitoring devices at the new Scottish base from next year.

First Minister Alex Salmond will speak to Daktari officials in New York later to discuss the move.

The company currently employs 40 staff at its base in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The £12m project is being supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Scottish Development International (SDI) with a £2.2m public sector package for relocation and workforce training.

The Scottish venture will involve mass production of blood testing cartridges required for CD4 cell counting, a process used in HIV monitoring. The system is currently undergoing clinical trials in Africa.

The Inverness area has a growing life sciences sector which the Scottish government said was worth more than £3.1bn to the economy each year.

Responding to news of the jobs boost, First Minister Mr Salmond, said: "Scotland has the most comprehensive national life sciences strategy in the world and the sector continues to go from strength to strength.

"Daktari's intention to locate its manufacturing base in Scotland is testament to our increasing reputation as a growing life sciences community and as the ideal place to invest and do business."

The first minister will meet Daktari's chief executive Bill Rodriguez as part of the Scotland Week programme.

Mr Rodriguez said ahead of the meeting: "Inverness, Scotland, offers companies like ours considerable support and a great location, with a highly educated work force and an ability to expand rapidly to support the demand for our new product."

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