Belfast Telegraph

Randox's plans for global growth hatched in a hen house

By Clare Weir

He started his business empire in a hen house in his parents' back garden.

Beginning with a team of two – his mum and dad –in 1982, Peter Fitzgerald and his new company eventually relocated to larger premises. That was in an apple store, which would later be converted to house the international headquarters of Randox Laboratories in Crumlin.

A graduate of the University of Strathclyde, Dr Fitzgerald came home to work as a researcher at Queen's in Belfast and spent his evenings and weekends developing diagnostic products, which he eventually started manufacturing and selling to hospitals in Ireland and around the UK.

He used the profits to re-invest in developing more products and employing more staff and now the company exports more than 95% of its products to 145 countries.

The firm first started exporting kits to the Netherlands and Germany in 1983 and opened its first office in Portugal in 1992.

There are now more than 25 offices across the world.

Dr Fitzgerald said clients were at first incredulous that such advanced products were being made in Northern Ireland as opposed to America or Germany. The company's innovations include pioneering biochip technology, which can help with the accurate diagnosis of patients with suspected heart attacks, can sub-type breast cancer and can identify non-responders to chemotherapy.

Earlier this year the company announced it had invented a new test that could help doctors detect a heart attack in patients on arrival to A&E.

Belfast Telegraph