CIS Oncology sees promising opportunities in South Africa

CIS Oncology in Belfast is being assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to pinpoint opportunities in South Africa for its sophisticated software for cancer treatment.

The company, part of the CIS Healthcare operation, is following up its participation in the Invest NI’s ‘Going South Africa’ initiative which culminated in a trade mission to South Africa in December, by returning to the market this month.  

During this follow-up visit the company has a series of meetings with potential clients interested in its unique ChemoCare software, an electronic prescribing system and management technology for cancer patients.

CIS Oncology was among the first local companies to sign up for the first Invest NI ‘Going South Africa’ initiative, which is designed to encourage and assist Northern Ireland companies to grasp the extensive business opportunities developing rapidly in South Africa.

Assistance to support CIS Oncology’s focus on South Africa was announced by Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI Trade Director, during a visit to the company’s offices in Titanic Quarter, where she was briefed by Business Development Consultant Kerry Brown.

Dr Kell said: “CIS Oncology identified the potential in South Africa for its products from the nation’s extensive expenditure on healthcare and has worked with us to develop increased detailed market knowledge and to pinpoint potential clients. Our advisors there have also helped the company with up-to-date market trends, performance information and knowledge, and are continuing to work with the company to deliver market success.

“Currently, South Africa is spending 8.5 per cent of GDP on health, well ahead of other parts of Africa.  It has developed sophisticated health facilities particularly in urban centres such as Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban but has still much to do across a huge nation. South Africa is well aligned to Northern Ireland businesses as this is a nation in which English is the language of business and with financial and legal systems shaped by its historic relationship with Britain and Ireland.  Also there is never more than a two hour time difference from Northern Ireland.

“These features make South Africa an ideal base for our companies, both large and small, seeking to grow business through exports. Our ‘Going South Africa’ initiative was designed to encourage our companies to explore the extensive business opportunities there,” added Dr Kell.  “We also run a similar initiative in Holland, ‘Going Dutch’ which has resulted in great successes for participating Northern Ireland companies.”

Mr Brown, outlining the company’s plans, said: “We had been aware of possible opportunities in South Africa before the Invest NI concept was introduced.  When it was launched, I jumped at the opportunity that it offered to take advice and the practical support that Invest NI’s advisors provide.

“ChemoCare is designed for specialist cancer hospitals and clinics and is highly complex. It requires significant commitment from our customers to purchase and implement, therefore securing business always involves lengthy negotiations which means spending considerable time in the market.”

CIS Oncology, part of CIS Healthcare is the leading supplier of chemotherapy prescribing and management systems in the UK with approximately 70 per cent of the UK market. Based in Belfast, CIS Oncology has more than 15 years’ experience in successfully delivering solutions to the National Health Service and the private healthcare sector.

ChemoCare supports adult and paediatric, solid and haematological oncology prescribing and management. It is the only true paediatric solution having been developed with the support of the Children’s Cancer Leukaemia Group (CCLG).