With award wins, innovations, increased capacity, staff recruitment and rapid export growth, 2019 was another year of highlights for XenoGesis, topped off by an award win for our export achievement (more on that later). Let’s take a look back at some of our favourites:
Becoming a CRO partner for Medicines Discovery Catapult
Back in May, the Medicines Discovery Catapult selected XenoGesis as the only DMPK CRO partner to support its virtual R&D discovery services platform worldwide. We were delighted to be selected and have already been able to provide DMPK and drug discovery support to MDC clients. Read the full story here.
Investment in two new mass spectrometers results in increased bioanalytical capacity and capability
This year we invested in two mass spectrometers with a focus on growing and expanding our bioanalysis capability. We received funding support from the University of Derby’s Invest to Grow Programme which enabled us to purchase a Thermo Q Exactive Focus UPLC-MS and diode array, and a Thermo TSQ Altis LC-MS/MS with UPLC. The new equipment provides XenoGesis with an additional 67% bioanalytical capacity, and also allows us to expand into the large molecule analysis area.
Gaining traction in the US market
Global Head of Business Development, Rachel Hemsley spent the majority of August on a trip around the West Coast of the USA visiting biotech hubs and strengthening relationships. Stops on the trip included San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles and Irvine. The visit involved meetings with existing and prospective clients, trade organisations and the DiT. Our current focus is to build traction in the US and we will continue to increase our presence with more trips in the pipeline for 2020. Find out more about the 2019 visit here.
Richard crowned East Midlands Director of the Year
In June, our CEO and Founder, Richard Weaver was named East Midlands Director of the Year at the Institute of Directors East Midlands Awards 2019 in the SME business (small) category. Richard cited his “every day is a school day” mentality – a motto which is cascaded through the team – as being a key driver of innovation and growth at XenoGesis. Following the award win, Richard was then shortlisted in the IoD’s national finals, held at the Brewery in London. A highlight of this event was Richard having the opportunity to meet the legendary Sir Trevor McDonald.
Rachel appointed to the BioPartner Advisory Board
Rachel Hemsley was appointed to the Advisory Board of BioPartner, the trade organisation for internationalising life sciences companies. Read more here.
New year, new website
As our team and capabilities continue to grow, we realised that the website was no longer a strong reflection of our brand, and we needed a new look. With the creative direction and project management from the teams at V Formation and Fuse4, we launched our new website during the summer, and embarked on a project to understand and articulate our vision and values.
The more the merrier
In 2019 we welcomed 8 new starters – making this a record year in terms of new recruits. This is in direct response to the increasing number of clients that are seeking the expertise of the XenoGesis team. In fact, we attracted more new clients in 2019 than ever before, including an increase in FTE contracts. We are also proud to have predicted the human PK and dose on 8 compounds that have now entered the clinic.
Generating a drug against malaria
XenoGesis teamed up with TropIQ and their Nijmegen-led collaboration on the generation of an innovative candidate drug against malaria. A molecule which was once designed to cure psoriasis, has shown to be effective against malaria. The research that led to this candidate has been published in Science Translational Medicine. This is one of a number of projects we have worked on with TropIQ, Read the full story here.
Out and about
XenoGesis attended a wide variety of events in 2019 including Making Pharmaceuticals (where Richard was a speaker), ELRIG (where we exhibited), the Anglonordic Conference, BIO, EBF, CPhI and many, many more. It has been great to catch up with pre-existing clients and contacts but also form new relationships. If you would like to keep up to date with the events that we will be attending in 2020, visit our events page. We also had the opportunity to present posters at the DMDG meeting and ELRIG – you can download the PDF of the poster here.
Bio Integrates and Pharma Integrates panels
At the beginning of the year, our founder and CEO Richard Weaver joined the panel at the Bio Integrates 2019 conference in London. Richard formed part of the advisory board, which provided expert insight into the critical issues and challenges facing the bio industry. Flash forward to November, and Richard was asked to join the panel discussions at the Pharma Integrates Conference speaking on the topic ‘Size matters – out with small molecules?’
Ada Lovelace Day
XenoGesis was again invited to take part in BioCity’s event to mark Ada Lovelace Day, which aims to promote the visibility of women in STEM. Research Scientist, Sangita Bhaker took part in the event which was held at the MediCity site. On the morning of Ada Lovelace Day, Sangita was invited to speak about the subject on BBC Radio Nottingham. Click here to find out more, and listen to Sangita’s interview.
Rapid export growth
Earlier this year, we announced that we have seen a 78% increase in our exports from last year, with half of our revenue now coming from overseas. Our clients are now spread across six continents and our international client base continues to grow. Read more here. This leads us nicely onto our final highlight…
Winners at the Medilink East Midlands Awards
Last, but by no means least, we were delighted to take home the Export Achievement Award at the 2019 Medilink East Midlands Business Awards earlier this month. The black tie event was held at the Radisson Blu at East Midlands Airport and attracted industry professionals to celebrate the region’s successes – a great ending to a year of achievements. Read more here.
Here’s to 2020!
It has been great to reflect on all that has been achieved in the last year and we hope that you enjoyed our 2019 round up. Thanks to all of our clients and contacts for your support in what has been an incredibly busy and exciting year. The team at XenoGesis wish you a prosperous and successful 2020.