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Testing times ahead with IDS acquisition.

Byline: By Graeme King

FAST-growing biotech company IDS has bought a Finnish company which will help complete its range of diagnostic testing products.

IDS, based in Boldon, South Tyneside, with sales of around pounds 4.3m, is now the owner of Suomen Bioanalytiikka Oy (SBA Sciences) of Oulu, Finland, which turns over around pounds 500,000.

SBA makes a series of products which IDS already sells in the US market through its subsidiary IDS Inc in Arizona.

The Finnish company's range includes a family of products that has proved popular in the bone research market.

IDS (Immunodiagnostic Systems) has a successful existing range of bone and skeletal "test kit", including market leading vitamin D kits. SBA's `TRACP 5b' products are said to be complementary to those of IDS, and the Boldon business believes it now has a world-beating product range for its market place.

The IDS Holdings plc group now comprises IDS Inc in Arizona, IDS GmbH in Frankfurt, and SBA in Oulu.

Dr Roger Duggan, managing director of IDS, said: "SBA is a very small operation and they currently outsource their manufacturing to a German company. We have got to transfer their manufacturing to the UK which should secure, if not create, some jobs. We have been distributing their products in the US for 18 months.

"We are excited about the acquisition of the bone TRACP 5b assays, as these represent excellent products to sell alongside our existing `Bone & Skeletal' range of products.

"In the markets where bone TRACP 5b has been professionally marketed such as the USA and Germany, it has seen a rapid and sustained growth in uptake by researchers and clinical triallists.

"We believe there is the opportunity to accelerate sales throughout Germany and the USA, to extend this success to the other major European and Asian markets, applying our marketing expertise to penetrate these potentially lucrative markets."

SBA OY will remain operational in Finland as a wholly-owned subsidiary of IDS where research and development and new product development will continue.

IDS will supply the TRACP 5b products direct from its UK headquarters with immediate effect, and will begin manufacturing them in-house as soon as possible ( creating a handful of new jobs to add to the existing 50 strong workforce.

IDS floated on the Alternative Investment Market just before Christmas 2004. It has plans to grow, with a subsidiary in France expected to be established later this year.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 2, 2005
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