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The Native Antigen Company

Native Antigen Company expands to new facility

The Native Antigen Company (NAC) has moved from Cherwell Innovation Centre to premises at Langford Lane, Kidlington, following its success in the global fight to prevent the spread of ZIka virus.

NAC has doubled its turnover and increased the number of employees by 30% over the last year in addition to winning a government grant from Innovate UK to continue with the development of Zika diagnostic kits.

The biotech company invented a superior way of diagnosing Zika shortly before the World Health Organisation declared the virus a public health emergency in 2016, ahead of the Rio Olympics.

Dr. Nick Roesen, Chief Scientific Officer and Co-founder of The Native Antigen Company, said: “Although Zika has left the news agenda it isn’t going away and is still a significant threat to pregnant women.  All of our work to date has been developed at Cherwell Innovation Centre and we have been extremely grateful for the use of the centre’s shared and private lab space in addition to serviced offices.  The centre really is crucial in helping to retain and grow biotech start-ups in Oxfordshire.”

NAC was based at Cherwell Innovation Centre, managed by Oxford Innovation, for six years where the company expanded several times to meet business demands and also benefitted from the centre’s science community to assist with recruitment.  Significant growth led to the company seeking a new facility.

Commenting on the move, Dr. Nick Roesen said: “Maintaining a close link to Oxford has always been part of our business development plan to ensure we recruit the very best science talent. However, dealing with Oxford’s traffic problems and paying a premium for lab space was not an option.”

In anticipation of significant growth over the next five years, NAC has converted a 5,000 sq. ft. office into combined lab and office space due to a lack of readily available and affordable lab space north of Oxford.

Following the office move, NAC has increased its capability, primarily in assay development and diagnostic kits.  Dr. Roesen anticipates further growth both in turnover and headcount.

Tom Hanney, Regional Manager, North Oxfordshire for Oxford Innovation, said: “It has been a pleasure supporting Nick and the NAC team over the years and we are pleased NAC has been able to graduate to their own premises. We hope to help more like NAC by providing start-ups and SMEs with instant access to shared or private lab space in an environment of like-minded people, all striving to make a difference.”

The Native Antigen Company

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