The Durham Genome Centre is a state of the art bio-technology centre based in Lanchester, County Durham. The Centre is both a physical and intellectual resource for the genomics and biomarker sectors sector which are growing rapidly. This growth is being driven as the potential for personalised medicine for an aging population starts to become realised through the Human Genome Project. Applications in other markets are also becoming established, for example identifying the presence of bats for planning application purposes or through identifying the sex of new born birds of prey. The market is growing as imagination and growing capability combine with cost reduction: the cost of sequencing a genome has dropped from $100,000,000 to $1,000 between 2001 and 2015 opening up multiple market opportunities.
The Durham Genome Centre is the brainchild of Dr Neil Sullivan who saw an opportunity to build a cluster around Complement Genomics Ltd, a genomics testing business run with Ms Louise Allcroft since the year 2000. It bought Park House, a large detached Victorian building used for a variety of local government purposes since 1939, to convert to offices and laboratories but needed support to cut through a tangle of issues involving planning and restrictive covenants. Business Durham saw the potential for the facility and was delighted to support the business, using its contacts within the local authority to resolve the issues which were in danger of stopping the sale. Complement Genomics has been joined in the Centre by Sensapharm Ltd, which provides reference standards to the anti-malaria market and by Holistix Ltd, which provides prognostic testing for wound control in diabetes patients.
The aim of the Centre is to incubate and support the development of biotechnology companies and their supply chain with offices and laboratories but also to provide an environment in which like minded businesses can thrive. Neil is keen to collaborate and share expertise, not just on technical issues but also in marketing where learning on web design, SEO and PR can be shared. Offices exist from 18 to 27 sqm and fully fitted out laboratories range from 13 to 54 sqm.
Neil commented: “We have continued to work with Business Durham since the Centre was established and we now have a fabulous resource for the sector; there has never been a more exciting time to be a biologist and I am keen to see the Durham Genome Centre play its part in bringing jobs and wealth to the area.”
Neil can be contacted here