£2m Investment marks major expansion for Neem Biotech
A Singaporean owned biotech company specialising in the extraction and manufacture of natural bioactive compounds from plants for health applications is undergoing a major £2m expansion in Wales that will triple job numbers and move the business to the next level.
The investment, which is backed by £225,000 business finance from the Welsh Government, will enable Neem Biotech to move from the St Mellons Technology Park into larger, purpose designed facilities in Abertillery. Staff numbers will increase from eight to 25 within eighteen months.
This funding support ensures that the expansion takes place in Wales, allowing for the increase in jobs and technology transfer into the region as opposed to the alternative which would have been to expand in Malaysia.
Managing Director Dr Michael Graz described it as a pivotal point in the company’s growth and development, enabling the business to move production from laboratory scale to pilot scale. It also allows for work that focuses on extracting products for use in clinical trials as well as taking some of their primary research to clinical trials.
Economy Minister Edwina Hart said:
"Life sciences are a key sector of the economy with high growth potential and the Welsh Government is committed to support the growth and development of the sector.
"I am delighted that Welsh Government support is helping Neem Biotech - which operates in a highly specialised field - to expand, create new highly skilled jobs and extend its capability and capacity."
Work is underway on fitting and kitting out their new premises on Abertillery’s Roseheyworth Business Park, to provide bespoke facilities and equipment enabling the company to expand its R&D capacity and to launch a series of new products.
The company has a number of IP protected products in the pipeline as well as further patents pending on extraction methods, compounds and the novel application of compounds.
Its first clinical trial in Germany is set to commence this year when plant extracts will be used in the treatment of lung infections in cystic fibrosis patients.
Dr Graz said:
"These are exciting times for our company with a new owner and significant new investment in the business, while the very generous support from the Welsh Government will help accelerate our growth.
"The Welsh Government’s support for the sector, through initiatives like the Wales Life Sciences Investment Fund, is creating an environment that fosters the growth of the sector in Wales which really is the best place in Europe for companies in the biotech industry.
"It underpinned our decision to stay in Wales while support from the Welsh Government also gave our owners a lot of confidence in the long term future of Neem in Wales."
Staff will be recruited to drive the development of the pipeline projects, handle project management and clinical trial management tasks and include highly skilled staff in the fields of chemistry and life sciences, project managers, administrators and skilled manufacturing operators.
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