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Entrepreneur of the Year – Walter Nimmo

The Entrepreneurial Exchange has awarded its highest accolade – Entrepreneur of the Year – to Walter Nimmo. 

In the 14 years since he founded Inveresk, chief executive Walter Nimmo has led the East-Lothian based group to be one of the world’s leading research organisations offering drug development expertise to the worldwide pharmaceutical and biotech industries. 

Nimmo was presented with the award at The Entrepreneurial Exchange Annual Awards Dinner at the Hilton on 28 November which is supported by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Bank of Scotland and The Herald. 

Nimmo was educated at Bathgate Academy and Edinburgh University from where he qualified as a medical doctor in 1971.  A respected editor and author of medical journals and papers, he holds a BSc and MD in medical sciences and is a fellow of both the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Anaesthetists as well as the Royal Society of Edinburgh. 

In June 2002, Inveresk achieved a successful listing on the US Nasdaq market and has a £500m valuation.  Now seen as a truly global company operating at the cutting edge of scientific research, Inveresk offers a broad range of drug development services, including pre-clinical safety and evaluation services, laboratory sciences services and clinical development services. 

Earlier in his career, Nimmo held various positions at Edinburgh, Glasgow and Sheffield Universities, before establishing Inveresk Clinical Research (ICR) in 1988.  ICR was bought by Societe Generale De Surveillance SA (SGS) in 1993 and merged with Inveresk Research International, before being taken back into the fold by Nimmo in 1999 following a management buy-out.

In April 2001, the acquisition of the drug testing group, ClinTrials Research Inc, almost tripled the workforce at Inveresk and today the group has operations in 15 countries, mainly Europe, America and Canada.  Its client base includes major pharmaceutical companies in North America, Europe and Japan, as well as many biotechnology and speciality pharmaceutical companies.

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