Jobs boost: Dunmurry pharmaceutical company to double its workforce

Economy Minister Simon Hamilton MLA (left) with Managing Director of Fusion Antibodies Dr Paul Kerr. Pic by Simon Graham, Harrison Photography
Economy Minister Simon Hamilton MLA (left) with Managing Director of Fusion Antibodies Dr Paul Kerr. Pic by Simon Graham, Harrison Photography

Economy Minister Simon Hamilton has announced that Dunmurry-based pharmaceutical company Fusion Antibodies Ltd is to double its workforce in an investment supported by Invest Northern Ireland.

Fusion Antibodies is a spin out from Queen’s University, Belfast and is based at Springbank Industrial Estate.

Welcoming the jobs announcement, Minister Hamilton said: “Fusion Antibodies is one of the most innovative companies in our growing Life Sciences sector. It has had a strong focus on R&D and its expertise is helping to accelerate the development of human drugs for a range of diseases. The company is now capitalising on its knowledge base with an ambitious target of doubling revenues within the next three years.

“The increased revenues, which will all be from export sales, together with the additional salaries of £368,000 a year which will be generated when the 15 new jobs are in place, are very positive news for the Northern Ireland economy.”

Invest NI has offered support of £97,500 for the new jobs which include 10 graduate and two senior scientist posts, one technical support post and two business development posts to promote sales throughout Europe and the USA.

The company, which is a contract research organisation specialising in antibody engineering, is focusing on growing its revenues significantly through promotion of its next generation CDRx Antibody Humanisation Platform. This platform allows for humanisation of any antibody species and has a reputation for being highly reliable and accurate.

Commenting on the company’s expansion, Fusion Antibodies’ Managing Director, Dr Paul Kerr, said: “In the past four years we have humanised more than 65 novel targets for pharma and biotech clients in Asia, Europe and the USA and we foresee major growth in this area. The 15 new staff will ensure that we are in a position to meet the growing demand for our services.”

Dr Kerr was instrumental in bringing the Human Antibodies & Hybridomas conference to Belfast. The conference, which is helping to showcase Northern Ireland’s Life Sciences sector, is currently running in the Hilton Hotel.

He added: “We’re grateful to Invest NI for this support and for the support we’ve received in the past which has helped the company to establish itself as respected player in the antibody engineering arena.”