Precision biomarkers and diagnostics in Northern Ireland
Launch your biomarker journey and develop advanced precision diagnostics in Northern Ireland.
Precision medicine represents the next generation of healthcare, as biomarkers and diagnostics are essential for patient stratification, diagnosis and treatment.
The UK government is supporting the precision medicine sector, investing millions into genomic medicine, early detection and digital pathology. Northern Ireland is recognised by the UK government as an agile region which excels in advanced precision diagnostics.
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Foreign direct investment
Healthcare and life sciences, MedTech
Sector and market opportunity
Exploit the growing global demand for precision biomarkers and companion diagnostics with Northern Ireland’s agile, interconnected ecosystem.
Access extensive patient data and a collaborative network of over 17 research centres of excellence and niche areas of expertise. Grow quickly and accelerate the commercialisation of your solutions in biomarker discovery, precision diagnostics and data analytics.
There’s a growing demand for precision medicine technologies, solutions and treatments.
The global precision medicine market across major diseases is forecast to reach £102 billion by 2025. The global biomarkers market is predicted to be worth £98 billion by 2027.
Northern Ireland’s approach to scientific research makes it a great place for companies to discover, validate and commercialise their next precision diagnostic.
The region offers:
- design-enriched clinical trials with health and social care data held on the population of 1.9 million
- collaboration with Centres of Excellence such as Personalised Medicine Centre (Ulster University and Precision Medicine Centre (Queen’s University)
- the chance to bring your solutions directly to Northern Ireland’s integrated Health and Social Care (HSCNI)
- the ability to tap into a leading UK diagnostics cluster from a well established scientific research base
- the ability to develop your biomarker and diagnostics solutions at pace
Northern Ireland is the only region in the world where you are able to trade goods freely with both GB and EU markets. It is the only place where businesses can operate free from customs declarations, rules of origin certificates and non-tariff barriers on the sale of goods to both Great Britain and the EU.
Find out more about Northern Ireland’s Unique GB and EU Market Access Position
There are 3 international airports with connections to 53 locations worldwide.
Northern Ireland’s railway system connects Belfast with Derry and Dublin. There are also 5 commercial ports with easy access to Dublin Port, plus 100 ferry crossings per week between Northern Ireland and mainland UK.
Northern Ireland is the number 1 location in the UK and Ireland for full-fibre access and a rapidly expanding 5G network.
Local talent and skills
Northern Ireland’s life sciences industry employs over 18,000 staff.
Over 19,000 students study and 5,600 students graduate with health and life sciences degrees each year across the region’s 2 leading universities. Medical schools in Northern Ireland work closely with industry experts. Randox Laboratories has invested in Queen’s University’s Post Graduate Medical School.
The sector also benefits from a new graduate medical school at Ulster University, Derry.
It is an integral, uniquely positioned part of the UK and is the ideal location to grow your company. Its combination of a business-friendly environment, highly skilled workforce, quality skills pipeline, excellent infrastructure, and unique market access offer a compelling proposition for your business. Over 1,300 international companies across a range of sectors are based in Northern Ireland (NISRA, 2023). The region has a long-standing history of international trade performance, hosts globally recognised universities and offers investors unfettered access to both the UK and European Union markets.
Research and expertise
In Northern Ireland, you can work alongside 17 well renowned university research centres and over 1,000 researchers. Some 75% of research activity at Queen’s University Belfast is considered either world-leading or internationally excellent, according to the latest UK Research Excellence Framework assessment.
You’ll also get excellent research capabilities with the:
- Precision Medicine Centre of Excellence
- Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research
- Northern Ireland Centre for Stratified Medicine
- Connected Health Innovation Centre
Local and national government support
As part of a £1.3 billion package of government investment, Northern Ireland is committed to cementing its reputation as a prime location for life and health sciences.
Up to £150 million will be invested through city and growth deals across Northern Ireland, with innovation projects to advance health technology, clinical trials, data analytics and medical devices.
The UK and Northern Ireland are investing heavily in precision medicine, so your company can capitalise on huge momentum in the sector. The Life Sciences Vision aims to build on the scientific successes and ways of working from coronavirus (COVID-19) to tackle future disease challenges.
Invest Northern Ireland offers inward investors financial assistance for employment, capital, training and R&D as well as support with local knowledge, useful contacts, virtual and physical visits.
Almac Diagnostic Services
The Almac Group is a contract development and manufacturing organisation headquartered in Craigavon, Northern Ireland, with operations in the UK, Ireland, US and Asia.
Almac Group provides an extensive range of integrated services to the pharmaceutical and biotech companies with precision medicine strategies from biomarker discovery through to companion diagnostic parterships.
Sonrai Analytics is a rapidly growing AIdata analytics start-up based in Belfast that helps biotech, pharma and Contract Research Organisations (CROs) maximise the potential of their data and bring new life-saving drugs to the market faster.
Sonrai Analytics is leading an Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award to deliver novel artificial intelligence (AI) cancer screenings across the NHS, in partnership with the Precision Medicine Centre at Queen’s University Belfast and Roche, a world leader in diagnostics.
Exploristics is a global provider of bio-simulation software and biostatistics services for designing, analysing and reporting clinical trials and real-world studies, based in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Exploristics can deliver a unique approach to support and accelerate clinical development with exceptional study design platform ‘KerusCloud’. The cloud based SaaS simulation software enables researchers to fully optimise clinical design study and analysis approaches in a virtual environment to de-risk study protocols and improve success rates whilst reducing costs and timelines.
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