Belfast biotech company, Fusion Antibodies is setting up an office in Boston in Invest NI's Northern Ireland Technology and Development Centre (NITDC) to build on its existing sales in the US.
The Queen's University spin-out company, which has won a string of awards for its leading-edge technology, will use NITDC as a springboard for faster growth in the greater Boston area, one of the world's most important centres for biotech research and product development.
Allyn Keown, Fusion's vice president of business development, says: “An office at NITDC gives us a base and access to expert information and practical support from the very knowledgeable team in Boston.
“Boston is at the heart of a huge biotech industry that attracts substantial funding from the US government for pioneering research. This makes it a well-funded sector.
“In addition, the region is home to many biotech spin-out companies from its excellent research universities such as Harvard, MIT and Boston College and to several venture capital institutions. We will also use the office to strengthen our contacts in the North Carolina Research Triangle, another biotech R&D ‘hotspot.’
“The US is already an important market for us. The Boston office provides professional support that will enable us to move closer to the market and to win more business. We also intend to use it to broaden knowledge of the US market within the company by regularly rotating staff from Belfast to Boston.
“It will also be linked directly to Belfast by means of a new management information system that we are currently installing. This will mean phone and e-mail calls to Boston will be switched to Belfast if staff in the US are away from the office or otherwise engaged, thereby ensuring a fast response to all enquiries,” he adds.
Alan Hingston, Invest NI’s Trade director, welcoming Fusion’s decision, says: “Our technology and development centres are an integral part of our ‘Being International’ strategy. They assist local companies, particularly technology-led small to medium-sized enterprises, to develop business in the global marketplace.
“While the centres, which are located in Boston, Denver and Dubai, provide companies with fully serviced offices, the most important aspect of the initiative is the expert advice from staff experienced in doing business in the markets where they are located. Many smaller companies have been assisted to enter the US and Middle East markets quickly and cost-effectively by NITDC staff.
“In the year ended 31st March, for instance, companies located in the three NITDCs secured business in excess of £35 million,” he adds.
Fusion Antibodies is a world leader in discovery and research at the cutting edge of therapeutic antibody development utilising bioinformatics, rapid expression & purification of recombinant proteins.
Fusion’s award winning proprietary high through-put FET (Fusion Expression Technology) platform allows these custom high quality recombinant proteins to form the basis of their monoclonal, polyclonal and recombinant / chimeric antibody platform. This is used to validate their in-house oncology drug discovery programme.
These technologies & associated microbiological techniques are offered as a service to enable drug discovery, diagnostic biotechnology companies & academic researchers achieve their goals faster and more cost effectively.
Fusion Antibodies currently employs 25 people in Belfast.