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Irish innovation driving a global diagnostics revolution

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As an all-Ireland, world-class biotechnology company, Randox have a great deal to offer to US healthcare. With extensive facilities in Co Antrim and Co Donegal, Randox has expanded over three decades into one of the world’s leading developers and suppliers of diagnostic products and services for healthcare. Our commitment to the US market is evidenced by our 2010 acquisition of a new North American Headquarters in the West Virginia panhandle, close to Washington DC.

Randox is rated within the top 20 diagnostic companies in the world, and last year 350 million patients, or 5% of the world’s population, were diagnosed using our technology. Employing almost 1300 people including over 300 research scientists and engineers, we trade in 145 countries across the world. Working at the cutting edge of science and discovery means innovation is at the heart of Randox, and each year we return around 20 percent of turnover to our research and development.

It was this desire to improve diagnostics that saw over a decade of research, and around $330m invested in developing Randox’s patented BioChip Array Technology. This multiplex technology (undertaking multiple tests simultaneously) is transforming how the world performs diagnostics.

But what drives this innovation? Ultimately it is the desire to improve health and save lives. Our expertise at developing tests for particular biomarkers, help those involved in frontline healthcare identify conditions and diseases faster and with more accuracy. For example 382 million people currently live with diabetes across the world, and increasingly sedentary lifestyles means this figure is predicted to rise by 55% by 2035. Our recently launched Adiponectin test assesses an individual’s risk of developing diabetes, and allows resources and treatment to be focused on those most at risk. Our Heart type Fatty Acid Binding Protein (h-FABP) test greatly improves the management of those at cardiovascular risk, allowing early, preventative action to be taken. Lives are saved as a result. One of our key business divisions is focused on laboratory Quality Control, helping to ensure that laboratory results are reliable. The quality of Randox products meant we recently secured a supplier agreement with Novation - the largest health care supply chain, analytics and contracting company in the US, with 100,000 members.

Randox is also one of the leading suppliers of clinical chemistry analysers in the world and we are proud that the accuracy of our RX branded technology means they are trusted by America’s leading research scientists at Ivy League institutions, including both Harvard and Yale universities. And our expertise in diagnostics means we have been able to diversify beyond healthcare, into the veterinary, research, forensic, and food safety sectors. For example in recent years a Russian, Chinese and EU ban on US meat products has caused significant difficulties for US exports, with the US Ambassador to Moscow estimating US losses of between $5-6m per annum from Russia alone. As the only USDA approved supplier of screening technology for the beta-agonist growth promoter Ractopamine, Randox Food Diagnostics technology helps US exporters demonstrate residue-free products and re-access key markets.

Our expertise also means we are at the vanguard of one of the world’s key health challenges, testing for drugs known as ‘legal highs’. By way of example, Randox are the first company in the world to develop a commercially available test for the synthetic cannabinoid ‘Spice’ and this allowed our Toxicology Division to assist the US Army with a widespread study on the use of legal highs by armed service personnel.

These examples of Randox innovation and expertise mean we are growing at pace within the US market. Our revenue increased by 25% last year, and we have grown our number of US-based staff by a similar margin to fuel and sustain this rise.

As an all-Ireland company, with firm roots in the US, Randox is proud to be part of the Irish Network USA. Over 40million people in the U.S. claim Irish ancestry so it is unsurprising to find many have risen to the top of the American biotechnology sector.

Last week, I was delighted to join Belfast Lord Mayor Cllr Mairtin O’Muilleor to participate in the prestigious New York – New Belfast event, celebrating the business and cultural links between these two world famous cities. Similarly we appreciate that both the work ethic, and the value Irish-American’s place on education, provides a strong skills pool as Randox seeks to develop in key regions. Randox has excellent career opportunities available right across the United States, from the Atlantic coast to California, from Illinois to Texas.

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