A Nottingham company which provides outsourced drug discovery research is celebrating its 10th anniversary and expanding in the city by revealing plans to create up to 80 new jobs.
Sygnature Discovery, which was established by Simon Hirst in December 2004, is finalising a deal to move into 33,000 sq ft offices and labs in a new biosciences hub in Nottingham which is due for completion in 2016.
Dr Hirst told East Midlands Business Link: “The move will give us room for expansion. We currently employ 120 but we are aiming to get that number up to 200 within three years. We’ll be expanding and adding further capabilities and setting up new departments within the business.”
Hirst has built his company on the increasing trend for pharmaceutical companies to outsource various parts of their business, including R&D, which Sygnature specialises in. ??He said he set his company up in Nottingham specifically because of BioCity. “When I was first starting out, we could have gone to Cambridge but BioCity really appealed to us because it gives companies the space to grow,” he said.
Hirst added: “I’m a big fan of Nottingham – I think it’s a hugely attractive city and has a lot of the benefits of living in a much larger city. Housing is more affordable here – we have two great universities, and that helps because we’re in a knowledge-based industry, and we need to keep talent in the city.”
Hirst began his career as scientist, and says that those taking his career path are still in the minority – although the numbers are growing.
He said: “It’s relatively rare for scientists to become entrepreneurs, but not as rare as it once was. Compared to ten years ago, there is now a lot more support for new business, and recognition that you can be a scientist and an entrepreneur.”