Contract research firm set to double in size following Northern VCT investment


Gentronix Ltd – the UK contract research organisation with a specialist focus on genetic toxicology – is set to double in size following a £750,000 investment from the Northern Venture Capital Trust Funds (VCTs), which are managed by Mercia.

Gentronix serves clients in the pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, cosmetics, personal care and consumer products sectors. It provides solutions for genetic toxicology and skin sensitisation, supporting clients from early stage discovery through to regulatory submission and approval. Services are delivered by an expert scientific team, with a keen focus on minimal use of test substances and responsive timeframes.

The company, which currently employs 30 staff at its premises at Cheshire’s Alderley Park, grew turnover by 15 per cent last year and is on course to achieve a 20 per cent rise in the current year. The investment will allow it to expand its portfolio of OECD guideline toxicology testing services and increase its capacity within core service offerings, adding in new bioanalytical, gene mutation, 3D in vitro skin models and phototoxicity services.

Gentronix expects to create around 30 new jobs for scientists within the next two years. It is the third round of funding from the Northern VCTs and brings their total investment in the business to £2.75m. 

Matt Tate, who  took over as CEO in 2017, said: “This further investment from the Northern VCTs gives us the financial platform to accelerate the growth we have achieved in the past 12 months. It will enable us to increase our specialist toxicology capabilities, target gaps in the market and strengthen our offering across our key sectors. I look forward to leading the team in this exciting period of growth.” 

Carmine Circelli of Mercia said: “Gentronix has built a reputation within the industry for its scientific expertise and its ability to deliver reliable data to clients within the agreed timeframe. Under the direction of Matt and his team, the business has gone from strength to strength, secured some major new contract wins and achieved its best ever financial results. This funding will allow it to continue to expand its toxicology service in line with market demand and create new skilled jobs in the North West.” 

The Northern VCTs, which provide series A venture investment of up to £5million for high growth SMEs, are amongst the longest-established funds of their type in the UK. They are now managed by Mercia following its acquisition of the VCT fund management business of NVM Private Equity in December 2019. 

Jamie Pass of Womble Bond Dickinson provided legal advice to Mercia on the investment.