MAGNITUDE BIOSCIENCES, a global leader in the biotechnology sector, has revealed a significant growth trajectory, expanding its workforce substantially to accommodate new contract wins with both new and existing customers.
The County Durham-based company, which uses tiny nematode worms to carry out preclinical drug development and academic research, has already increased its workforce from 12 to 19 employees over the last 12 months and is in the process of recruiting a further four people. Within three years, it expects to house a team of 45 scientists, researchers, skilled technicians and managers at its headquarters on NETPark.
Magnitude Biosciences has secured key contracts with prominent clients globally and increased its international footprint.
CEO Dr Fozia Saleem: “Our recent success in securing contracts with new global clients, and expanding our work with existing clients, has been a testament to the dedication and expertise of our team at Magnitude Biosciences. We are thrilled to be expanding our workforce and talent to strengthen our capabilities further.”
News of the firm’s ambitious growth trajectory comes as Dr Saleem is named on the We Are Power ‘Future List’ – a list of powerful and influential women who are acknowledged as change-makers and leaders in their field.
Dr Saleem said: “Over the years, I’ve navigated boardrooms where I was the lone woman, often the youngest, and the only individual of Asian descent. As I’ve matured, I’ve learned to assert myself as an equal in those spaces and it is an honour to be recognised today by the Northern Power Women Awards.
“I don’t believe in treading water; my focus at Magnitude Biosciences remains committed to pushing the boundaries of biotechnology and incremental growth. My leadership style is centred on the collective strength of my team. I lead from the front and am surrounded by a team of experts who specialise in their respective fields. Together, we create a powerful force, making our mark in the biotech business world.”
A spin-out from Durham University, Magnitude Biosciences is a specialist Contract Research Organisation (CRO) founded in 2018 by life sciences expert Prof. David Weinkove and physicist Dr Christopher Saunter.
The company has pioneered the use of nematode worms, known as C. elegans, combined with their proprietary WormGazerTM technology, and transgenics services to offer key insights to accelerate early product development for clients in the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and biotech industries.
Leveraging the remarkable similarities in the form and function of neurons, skin, muscles, and cognitive function between C. elegans and humans, Magnitude Biosciences reduce the need for mammalian testing, de-risk clinical trials, and prioritise successful candidates by generating bioactivity data in a whole model organism for healthy aging, longevity, neurodegeneration, and reproductive health. Achieving results within just seven days, its approach offers a cost-effective alternative to traditional in vivo mammalian testing.
In June 2023, the company secured a Future Economy Investor Partnerships grant of almost £250,000 from Innovate UK, which was matched by an investment from the North East (ERDF) Innovation Fund Limited Partnership, supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Northstar Ventures Limited.
Dr Saleem said the funding is helping to accelerate research and growth. “As scientists and institutes increasingly look to improve the population’s healthspan – that is, helping a young population age in a way that adds life to their years rather than years to their life – our aim is to become the go-to contract research company for screening thousands of compound libraries and novel lifestyle products.”