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Sunderland scientific success story to expand team alongside £3m investment in city’s future

A pharmaceutical company in Sunderland is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a £3m facility investment and ‘major’ recruitment drive.

Onyx Scientific, which is a drug research, development and manufacturing business, has signed a 10-year lease on industrial land at Queen Alexandra Bridge, neighbouring its current headquarters at the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC).

The expansion will enable it to meet growing demand for its commercial manufacturing services.

Additionally, the 70-strong team hopes to add at least 30 extra people to the workforce in the next five years.

Onyx Scientific launched in 2000 with seven members of staff and an empty unit at the BIC.

Today, it occupies over 50,000 sq ft of laboratory space, works with clients around the world and also has a facility in North Carolina, USA.

Denise Bowser, commercial director and founding director of Onyx, said: “The North East BIC and Sunderland Council took a chance on us when we were starting out.

“We were a business with no credit rating, no credibility and no clients, but we had a strong vision & business plan.

“Our dedication to Sunderland is the reward for the faith they showed us right from the outset.

“We’ve invested millions into our Sunderland facilities and our latest expansion is a tangible sign of the confidence we have in our future in the city.

“Good chemistry and fantastic staff are at the heart of what we do. We now have the capability to take a job from the identification of a lead molecule, into phase one studies and right through to commercial manufacture.

“We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved here in Sunderland and the part we have played in the region’s bigger economic story. We have the reputation, the skills, the ambition and the financial stability to have real confidence in the future.”

North East BIC operations director David Howell added: “The quality employment and exciting career opportunities offered by Onyx are a perfect example of the future we want for the North East.”