Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland clinical trials firm all set to create 19 new positions

By Jamie Stinson

A Northern Ireland clinical research company is creating 19 new jobs to meet the growing demand for its work.

Belfast-based BioKinetic Europe, which conducts clinical trials for pharmaceutical firms, has recently won a number of international contracts.

The new jobs will include nurses, clinic assistants, data and recruitment specialists as well as business development staff.

Managing director Crawford MacLean said the latest expansion was "an exciting time for BioKinetic as we expand our team as well as increasing our office and clinic space to facilitate new services and reflect new business".

"We are pleased to be looking at a solid pipeline of work in a variety of therapeutic areas and to have a balanced combination of new and repeat clients across the UK, Europe and Asia."

The firm is working as part of a €6m (£4.3m) European Commission contract - of which it will receive £1.1m - for a vaccine to help reduce people's resistance to antibiotics.

Dr David Bell, BioKinetic's medical director, said: "The A Group B Strep vaccine (GBS) would prevent infections without the need for antibiotics, therefore reducing the risk of widespread antibiotic resistance in this area.

"GBS is the leading cause of life-threatening bacterial infections in newborns, affecting 8,000 babies annually in Europe and the US."

In the last six months the firm also signed six figure contracts for business in Germany and South Korea.

Meanwhile, Ledcom (Larne Enterprise Development Company) has opened new offices in a bid to attract high-tech firms to the area.

The enterprise firm hopes the five new units at Willowbank Business Park will lead to the creation of 25 new jobs, as it looks to expand on the IT businesses already based at the site.

Chief executive Ken Nelson said: "This is an exciting opportunity for knowledge-based, export orientated start-up companies to get bespoke incubation support, move into state-of-the-art facilities and receive top class business advice and mentoring in areas such as marketing, recruitment and IT skills."

Mr Nelson said the improvement to infrastructure to the area will attract greater investment.

"Improved communications and infrastructure means this area is set to become one of the most attractive locations for innovative new businesses," he said.

Belfast Telegraph