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C-TRIC hope to create ‘project pipeline’ with US companies

20 October 2017

Derry-based C-TRIC is one of 15 companies who will be showcasing the North West’s ‘entrepreneurship and innovation’ when they travel to Boston Massachusetts in mid-November as part of a joint collaboration between Councils in Derry/Strabane and Donegal.

The trip is part of the region’s strategy to promote inward investment and provide local businesses access to potential export opportunity.

The Clinical Translational Research and Innovation Centre (C-TRIC) is based in the grounds of Altnagelvin Area Hospital.  The company streamlines the process of taking developments from the laboratory to the marketplace. They facilitate partnerships between academic researchers, clinical practitioners and industry. In doing so they have significant commercial potential – by reducing both time and costs associated with research and development of innovative health technologies, medical devices and therapeutics.

C-TRIC has earned a worldwide reputation for academic-led clinical research in areas such as diabetes, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, nutrition and biomarkers (which indicate the presence of disease).

One of only two such centres in the UK, C-TRIC’s state-of-the-art facilities at Altnagelvin include two fully equipped clinical consultation rooms, a blood science and biomedical processing laboratory, a cell culture laboratory and a biological sample storage facility.

Speaking ahead of the Boston trade mission, C-TRIC Commercial Manager Barry Johnston said: “C-TRIC is situated on a major acute hospital site which allows for co-localisation of clinicians, academics and industry experts. This makes the centre an ideal location for staging clinical research and trials.

"What we do at C-TRIC is to create a pathway where ideas are generated in tandem by academics and clinicians, then developed through to their final commercial application in collaboration with industry. This way the time to market, as well as the costs of research and development, is significantly reduced.

“Because of our expertise, facilities and connections, we regularly undertake research for companies around the world. We are currently working with two US based companies – one of which we have successfully completed a number of studies for and are currently running studies for, the other we are in fairly well-developed discussions about a study.

“One of these companies is based in Massachusetts – and this region seems to have significant activity in health and life sciences.  Indeed, typical of our high level work is a study completed for the medical device company Nova Biomedical based in Massachusetts. They commissioned us to test the effectiveness of point-of-care testing devices for diabetes, in which they are the world leader.

“The advantage of outsourcing this work to C-TRIC is that we offer high value and quicker turnaround times. We can assist with the paperwork and speedily obtain the relevant ethics and research governance approvals. Our global reputation for quality also adds considerable weight to any study.

“We therefore hope that as a result of participating in the Boston trade mission, we will develop strong collaborative working relationships with other life and health science companies in the area – which will ultimately lead to future studies.

“Our long-term plan is to create a project pipeline from companies in this region and increase the size and scope of our clinical research capabilities.”