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Diagnostic company has a vital role.

Byline: David Jones Business Staff

COMPANIES such as Conwy-based Clinical Diagnostic Chemicals will play a vital role in developing an innovative culture in Wales, said Welsh Under Secretary of State Don Touhig on a visit to the company yesterday.

The company manufactures the Imutest range of allergy self-test kits which detect a range of common allergies, including house dust mite, pollen, milk, egg and cats and are designed for home use.

Clinical Diagnostic Chemicals launched the range earlier this year and the business now employs 11 people at its manufacturing plant at Cae Ffwt Industrial Estate, Glan Conwy.

Mr Touhig, touring the firm with Conwy MP Betty Williams, said: "Innovative companies like Clinical Diagnostic Chemicals play a key role in generating highly skilled manufacturing jobs and regenerating local economies. We need to foster a culture of innovation in Wales to encourage more companies like this and lay the foundation for the development of new industries.'' Company founder John Rees, an allergy testing specialist, came up with the idea for Imutest in his previous job working in a laboratory environment. He realised that many of the tests could be scaled down for home use, offering significant savings in time and money and greater convenience for patients.

He won SMART and SPUR awards, given by the former Welsh Office for the best new ideas, to help fund development of the new tests and products which are believed to be the first of their type in the world. Previously such tests could only be carried out in laboratories. The products can be bought over the counter in pharmacies.

Dr Rees said: "Clinical Diagnostic Chemicals operates an ongoing research and development programme and is very much at the forefront in terms of bringing new products to the marketplace.

"We are delighted that Mr Touhig recognises the importance of small, leading edge companies like our own and the contribution they make to local wealth creation.'' All the research and development work for the new business was carried out in Glan Conwy, and the Welsh site also assembles the test kits and prepares the reactive compounds used in them.


INNOVATOR: Dr John Rees, right, shows Welsh Under Secretary Don Touhig round his Conwy factory
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 15, 2001
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