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New directors expand opportunities for CELS.

The group driving the growth of the North-East's healthcare sector has made two appointments to its board.

The Centre of Excellence for Life Sciences (CELS) has picked Kenny Lang as director of business incubation and Mike Nicholds as director of programme delivery.

Lang, 50, joins CELS with over 20 years' experience in the bioscience sector and has moved from Cambridge-based Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd where he worked in business management.

At CELS, he will drive plans to establish a network of business incubator facilities to house and nurture start-up and medium-sized healthcare companies in the region.

Nicholds, 45, also has more than 20 years' experience in the life sciences arena and joins CELS from Billingham-based Avecia Biotechnology.

He will manage the delivery of major regional projects and initiatives. He will also direct all commercial services and contracts undertaken by CELS.

CELS chief executive Mike Asher said: "I am delighted to welcome Kenny and Mike. The skills and knowledge they bring will prove invaluable in cementing CELS's status as a national leader in the life sciences arena, helping us to fulfil our objective of growing the region's healthcare economy over the next 10 years.

"Both Kenny and Mike will play very important roles at CELS: in the short term Kenny will deliver our plan to create a dynamic network of business incubator sites across the region. Kenny has a proven track record in commercialising internationally competitive research and brings a wealth of experience of managing incubator facilities and supporting the growth of companies within them.

"Mike will take on the management of our major funded projects. He has a great strategic understanding of opportunities to grow the region's healthcare economy and will also head up CELS's trading subsidiary, undertaking commercial activities for those requesting this service."

Mr Lang said: "The level of expertise within CELS and in the North-East as a whole is astounding. The region has just as much to offer as other areas, such as Cambridge."

Mr Nicholds said: "The North-East has the potential to be a major player. We have outstanding research expertise and a solid industrial base."
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 2, 2006
Words:350
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