Medical supply company Clonallon Laboratories wins £250k contract in Middle East
A Co Down medical supply company has won a £250,000 contract with a company in Kuwait.
Clonallon Laboratories Ltd, which supplies sterile procedure packs, surgical instruments and other equipment to the healthcare industry, won the contract as Invest NI began a five-day trade mission to the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Saudi Arabia.
The Warrenpoint company already employs 11 people and is expecting to recruit another seven people.
Clonallon is part of the ever-expanding health and life sciences sector here, which includes indigenous heavyweights like health testing firm Randox and pharma company Almac, and foreign investors including Japanese firm Terumo, which makes products for blood transfusion at a factory in Larne.
Dermot Dempster, who set up the company in 2002, said that the company is keen to develop export sales. "Last year, with Invest Northern Ireland's support, we undertook an extensive marketing campaign to target new business outside Northern Ireland," he said.
"This contract is one result of that activity."
In June 2013 Invest NI offered £69,000 to Clonallon Laboratories to help it undertake targeted export marketing activity and create seven new jobs and the business has also received research and development assistance.
Enterprise minister Arlene Foster said that trade missions help companies to explore opportunities to do business in important export markets.
"This trip will help to strengthen our ties with the Emirati and Omani business communities and provide an opportunity to raise the profile of Northern Ireland as a great place in which to visit, to study and to work." she said.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Edwin Poots last night met representatives of global pharmaceutical companies to discuss collaboration in clinical research.
Mr Poots said: "Doctors, other healthcare professionals and patients need evidence from clinical trials to understand which diagnostic tests, treatments and care practices are most effective.
"Without clinical trial evidence, patients may not receive the most appropriate care and resources may not be used most efficiently."
There are already clinical clinical research networks operating across Northern Ireland, which the Department of Health said had enabled around 25,000 people to take part in medical trials.