The Bridge Club presents… ‘In conversation with Fiona Cruickshank’

19th January 2011
Newcastle Business School
Northumbria University


Fiona Cruickshank OBE and the operational team at SCM Pharma are bringing a whole new meaning to ‘novel, difficult and dangerous’.  Hot on the heels of winning the Exporters Award at CELS, Dianne Sharpe and her colleagues are pushing ahead in the USA and Fiona is beginning to move closer to the rewards that come from business vision and investment. 

Fi is no stranger to building a growth business! Her first, The Specials Laboratory, was sold in 2008, which was when SCM was demerged, but this time she’s doing things differently.  Fi might be working on the business as founder and co-investor, but she’s not working in it – that’s Dianne’s job- and since she started 12 months ago business has really started to motor.   Established as a clinical trials manufacturing facility for big pharmaceutical companies SCM moved into commercial manufacturing and then product testing a year ago in order to take the cost out of the process for their clients and to provide them with a complete trial to manufacture and test service.

The 50-strong team at SCM are aided in their endeavors by Potent Pete and Radioactive Ray – two cartoon characters charged with getting the message to the normally staid pharmaceutical community that SCM has the facilities, the equipment and the licenses to manufacture and test some of the most potent chemical compounds known to the industry.  It’s a message that’s been warmly received in the UK and Europe and now that a US agent is in place the SCM team is hoping for great things from the American market too! 

Whilst international business is beginning to gain traction Dianne continues to follow Fiona’s example at home and make sure that school and university students get to know more about the exciting pharmaceutical company on their doorstep, learn about careers in science and have access to work experience and internships.  SCM might be a high growth company but it is firmly rooted in the Northumberland community and sees its role as an educator as well as a commercial powerhouse.

If you want to know why Fiona established SCM, the characteristics that have prompted her to invest in a second business having sold the first, why she chose to work in a strategic rather than operational role, the dynamic between two of the region’s most innovative and focused business women, the importance of educating the next generation of scientists, the energy and enthusiasm that is being invested in SCM regionally, nationally and internationally and /or want an opportunity to learn more about Radioactive Ray or Potent Pete… then this conversation is a must!

This event will take place on Thursday 2nd December, 5.30pm for a 6pm start at Newcastle Business School at Northumbria University. Tickets are priced at £10.00+ vat (50% off usual ticket prices as a New Year special!). To register for this event please contact Toni Allen on 0191 2305742 or at  [email protected].

In Partnership with Northumbria University – Newcastle Business School

Supported by: Wardhadaway Law Firm, Ernst & Young