Global life sciences firm Randox is to benefit from a £700,000 investment which will mean patients could benefit from quicker, cheaper and more consistent diagnosis of diseases.
The UK Research and Innovation investment was announced by Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Karen Bradley a year after the government launched its modern Industrial Strategy a long-term plan to boost productivity by backing businesses to create high-quality, well-paid jobs across the UK.
The cash will allow the Crumlin-based firm to further develop its state-of-the-art ‘freeze-drying’ technology which enables the components of vital diagnostic kits to be manufactured, stored and transported more effectively, producing better and speedier diagnoses.
For the first time it also allows this complicated manufacturing process to be carried out in the UK rather than having to be outsourced to countries such as the United States, bringing more jobs and economic growth.
More in-depth analysis of biomarkers in blood and other bodily fluid levels will allow better, quicker diagnosis of cancers and a range of other diseases, ranging from respiratory infections to sepsis, such as blood poisoning.
“This funding will bring significant benefits to Randox’s vital medical diagnostics and help create well-paid manufacturing jobs in Northern Ireland,” said Ms Bradley.
“A year-on from the launch of our Modern Industrial Strategy, this investment highlights the great progress we are making to boost productivity by backing leading businesses and creating high-quality jobs in every corner of the United Kingdom.”
Dr Peter FitzGerald, Randox founding MD, said the opportunities presented by the funding were significant.
“Innovative diagnostic technologies are not only capable of diagnosing disease and ill-health at the earliest possible stage, but they also have a real potential to advance personalised medicine,” he said.
“Our commitment to developing new and exciting breakthroughs in science, technology, engineering and manufacturing is therefore matched only, by our passion to transform the life of the patient.
“Randox is leading the way in moving from a one-size-fits-all approach towards decisions, practices, and products tailored to the needs of the individual and the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund award brings us one step closer to realising that aim.”
Dr Kath Mackay, interim director - Ageing Society, Health & Nutrition at Innovate UK, said: “The UK has a world-beating life sciences sector and this is supported by the government’s modern industrial strategy. Pioneering companies such as Randox show just how important healthcare challenges are being addressed and creating the jobs and industries of tomorrow.”