Randox spends £15m to tackle cancer and Alzheimer's
Home-grown biomedical firm Randox is launching a new research and development division focused on "scientific discovery". The Co Antrim-based group has invested £15m into Randox Biosciences, which has already created 15 jobs - a figure that will double by the end of the year.
The division, which will be based at the group's Crumlin facility, is a merger of four existing departments: life sciences, pharma sciences, research and molecular.
Randox managing director Dr Peter Fitzgerald (right) said the department was developing research into Alzheimer's and cancer. "The Randox Biosciences team is truly at the frontier of health care discovery, making our vision a reality.
"At the moment, Randox Biosciences is engaged in world-leading research into Alzheimer's disease and cancer and is involved in more than 35 collaborations with internationally renowned academic research centres."
Dr Fitzgerald added that the investment Randox has put into biosciences is the most it has spent on research and development in its history.
"In 2014-15 we invested £15m into R&D, our most significant spend on this core function to date," he said.
"This investment has allowed us to establish the Randox Biosciences division, which will act as a road map for our R&D, taking our tests and technology to new markets across the world."
Patrick Henry, head of Randox Biosciences, said the department's focus was on the personalised medical market.
"Our focus is on targeting the thriving personalised medicine market, which at its heart relies on 'precision medicine' enabling technology and tests to tailor healthcare solutions to the right patients at the right time," Mr Henry said.
"Led by our dedicated research scientists, we offer advanced products for use in academic research, enabling new scientific discoveries, and in pharma companies for their drug development and clinical trials."
Another area it will be working on is in companion diagnostic development, he said.
"This is where new diagnostic tests are developed and approved alongside new drugs improving their efficacy and safety, while helping to reduce costs for healthcare networks by avoiding unnecessary or ineffective drug prescriptions." He added the firm would be moving into the Japanese market. "Precision medicine is next generation healthcare, with huge potential for Randox in terms of exports and collaborations. We are already creating traction in the US and Europe and have our sights set on Japan, in which we expect to have a solid presence by autumn."
In January, Randox announced the development of facilities at the former Massereene Army barracks in Antrim, which will see the creation of 540 new jobs.
The new Antrim facility will become the now Crumlin-based company's headquarters and primary site.