Clinical trials company Bio-Kinetic Europe (BKE), has more than doubled its turnover and almost tripled sales to the strategically important US market in the past 12 months. As a result of an aggressive marketing campaign in the US, assisted by Invest Northern Ireland, the company has grown its business there to 37 per cent of turnover from 13 per cent a year ago.
The company has secured a series of significant contracts from global pharmaceutical corporations to trial new and existing drugs in its 40-bed clinic in Belfast city centre. It has taken part in a number of Invest NI trade missions to the US and other markets and been assisted by the agency’s trade advisers in Boston and San Francisco.
Marketing support has also been provided by Invest NI under the Growth Accelerator Programme, which offers fast access to funding for agreed projects in areas such as management and marketing. In addition, the company took part in the Invest NI ‘Preparing for Export’ pilot programme last year which included expert mentoring support.
BKE’s growth was announced today by Moira Burke, Managing Director, and welcomed by Tracy Meharg, Managing Director of Invest NI’s Innovation and Capability Development division, during a visit to the company’s modern clinic in Great Victoria Street, Belfast.
Commenting on the growth in new business, Mrs Burke said: “The contracts are the result of an intensive campaign to sell our expertise and services to existing and potential clients in the immensely important but fiercely competitive US marketplace, particularly along the Boston-North Carolina corridor.
“Invest NI’s support for our marketing initiative has been invaluable in terms of the access it has provided to expertise on-the-ground there and the essential financial assistance. This has enabled us to reach key decision makers in many more US corporations and to brief them about our considerable experience in the design, management and analysis of essential clinical trials.
“What we offer, in conjunction with our strategic alliance partners, is a fully integrated package of services for companies developing new drug treatments. This experience is based on the successful completion of a very broad range of trials on behalf of international corporations,” she added.
Tracy Meharg said: “These are very encouraging figures from a locally-owned and managed company in one of our key business sectors. It is winning new business and diversifying its export base through a focused sales strategy in the US and other global markets.
“At the core of the company’s success is an agile and responsive approach to clients. As well as pursuing new business, BKE also recognises the importance of retaining existing customers by focusing significant resources on building long-term, sustainable relationships.
“It is also benefiting from the exceptionally favourable UK regulatory environment where the approval timeline for early stage trials is 14 days – the fastest in Europe. In addition, significant, valuable expertise in the local Research Ethics Committees in Northern Ireland ensures trials are conducted ethically and with volunteer safety the top priority,” she added.
BKE offers a comprehensive range of services which can be tailored to the specific objectives of a client.