Randox announces princely partnership with leading youth charity
Global biotechnology firm Randox has today announced the Prince’s Trust as its official corporate charity. Dr Peter FitzGerald, Managing Director of the medical diagnostics company, has supported the youth charity in a personal capacity for more than 30 years, but now the Prince’s Trust will be at the heart of Randox’s corporate fundraising efforts.
The partnership was launched at the Randox Point-to-Point in Crumlin (Sat 25th April), where a number of young entrepreneurs supported by the charity, marketed their crafts to the thousands of race-goers. Stalls included commercial courier company Put it on a Pallet, Nicola Drennan Ceramics aptly made with horse hair designs! Artist, Miguel Martin, Eat Me Drink Me artisan teas and Dolled up Decor up-cycled furniture.
Speaking at the event, Chairman of The Prince’s Trust, Sir Nigel Hamilton said:
“Randox is a complete inspiration to all aspiring young entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland and we at The Prince’s Trust were delighted to have five of our young business people represented at the point-to-point event. It is so encouraging to have companies like Randox who make such a significant contribution to the local economy, supporting the fledgling businesses that have been established through The Trust’s Enterprise programme.”
In addition to showcasing Prince’s Trust supported businesses, Randox guests at the event donated more than £1,200, this was topped off by Randox staff handing over a cheque for £3,500 from fundraising events throughout the year, including cake sales and sports challenges.
Describing the partnership as ‘a natural fit’, Dr Peter FitzGerald said:
“We are pleased to have selected the Prince’s Trust as our official corporate charity. Its values of innovation, enterprise and education mirror our own. Within Randox we are committed to finding and nurturing the next generation of scientists and engineers and our alliance with the Prince’s Trust allows us to help support the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs.”
The annual Randox Point-to-Point at Crumlin, once again attracted bumper crowds who turned out for the two day point-to-point steeplechases. Situated on what is widely regarded as the premier point-to-point track on the island of Ireland, the weekend’s event (24th and 25th April) did not disappoint with multiple All Ireland Champion Derek O’Connor registering a double on Saturday partnering Ballycross to victory for Templepatrick trainer Colin McKeever and leading local owner Wilson Dennison followed by Chosen Dream at the fifth. O’Connor also recorded a brace of winners during Friday evening’s session having scored with Sister Saragh at the first and Frost at the fifth.
Thousands enjoyed the spectacle and the sunshine and the increasingly popular event also boasted food and drink outlets, as well as portrait painting, crafts and even horse hair ceramics, all provided by the Prince’s Trust charity.
Published this weekend, the 16th annual Sunday Times BDO Profit Track 100 league table ranks the UK’s private companies with the fastest-growing profits over the last three years.
The three companies headquartered in Northern Ireland (compared to no companies last year) have made a strong contribution to the local economy, together achieving combined profits of £23m and employing almost 1,200 staff, having added 260 jobs in the last three years.
The region’s highest-ranked company at No 44 is Randox Laboratories, which appears on the league table for the first time. Led by founder and managing director Peter Fitzgerald CBE, 64, the company designs and manufactures diagnostic instruments and tests used in medical laboratories. It also supplies antibodies and proteins to the healthcare industry. It grew profits an average of 65% a year to £16.3m in 2013, and plans to invest £161m in a new science park near its head office in County Antrim.
Dr Peter FitzGerald, Managing Director of Randox said:
“Over the past 3 years we have witnessed a period of strong growth within Randox. Our success is largely due to our unwavering commitment to innovation and the skill, dedication and energy of our people – be they scientists, engineers, software developers or those fulfilling a wide range of business and support roles. This growth will enable us to further strengthen our infrastructure and increase the world leading research and development we are conducting – to achieve the earliest possible diagnosis of a very wide range of clinical conditions. At the moment 1-in-20 people on the globe are diagnosed using Randox tests and technology, and by 2020 we want to see this increase to 1-in-10. We remain dedicated to saving lives and improving health worldwide, and reinvesting our profits helps ensure that we will realise our vision.”
Two other Northern Ireland companies also make their debut on the Profit Track 100; County Antrim’s BI Electrical Services, and County Londonderry’s Tobermore Concrete Products.
The Profit Track 100 league table and awards programme is sponsored by BDO, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, and UBS Wealth Management. It is compiled by Fast Track, the Oxford-based research and networking events firm.
Peter Burnside, managing partner at BDO in Northern Ireland, the title sponsor of the league table, commented on the region’s success stories:
“Medium-sized businesses in Northern Ireland and across the UK are thriving. Our newly-named ‘Brittelstand’ has outgrown the German ‘Mittelstand’ with mid-market businesses across all sectors seizing the opportunities a growing economy presents. Northern Ireland’s most profitable companies have remained focused on sustainable growth by making intelligent investment decisions in innovation and overseas expansion.”
Global biotechnology firm Randox is delighted to once again host the Killultagh, Old Rock and Chichester Hunt Point-to-Point Steeplechases at Crumlin, County Antrim.
The Randox Point-to-Point will take place on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th of April, at Largy Road in Crumlin, on what many have described as the premier Point-to-Point track on the island of Ireland!
Point-to-Points are now firmly established in national hunt racing, with several champion horses starting their careers on the Irish Point-to-Point circuit, including several Grand National Winners, last year’s Randox Point-to-Point was no exception; Classic Place, winner of the Dennison’s Commercials 4 year old geldings maiden, was sold to Gigginstown House Stud (owned by Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary) and is now trained by Ireland’s top National Hunt trainer Willie Mullins.
Duke Arcadio won the Stonebridge Premium Feeds 5 year old confirmed maiden and is now trained by Donald McCain in England, Duke Arcadio then went on to win at Ayr at his next outing.
Pumped Up kicks won the Delta Packaging Mares winner of three, she is now owned and trained by Dan Skelton in England and has won two further races at Perth.
Randox Managing Director, Dr Peter FitzGerald said:
“We are pleased to once again host the Point-to-Point where champions are made. As an award winning diagnostics company, we succeed because we are ahead of the curve and so we support events which encourage entrepreneurship, team work and healthy competition! We look forward to this year’s two day meeting where we might spot the next Cheltenham Gold Cup or Aintree Grand National winner.”
This popular event isn’t just for racing enthusiasts, everyone is welcome to enjoy the food stands, craft stalls and family festivities. General admission is £5 per person, with free entry for children under the age of 16. The first race on Friday 24th of April will start at 4pm; on Saturday 25th of April, the first race takes place at 2pm.
- Precision test detects minute deterioration in kidney function
- Identifies patients at early stages – missed by current testing
- NICE says new test regime could cut the number of patients on medication and dialysis by up to 20%
- Chronic kidney disease affects older people and more common in women
- Unchecked, CKD can eventually cause kidney failure and death
- CKD linked to diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease
Millions of people in the UK are needlessly suffering from advanced kidney disease, because of a ‘blind spot’ in current testing methods. The traditional test used by the NHS to identify kidney dysfunction, measures the level of a waste product (Creatinine), which is only raised when up to 60% of the kidney has already been damaged. This damage is irreversible, with dialysis or transplant the only available therapies.
As kidney disease progresses, waste builds up in the blood which can have a significant impact on other key areas of the body; impairing heart health, weakening bones, reducing immune response and damaging the central nervous system. If left unchecked, CKD can cause kidney failure and death.
With early detection, the progression of CKD can be prevented; in response to this the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, has drafted new guidance for doctors to improve diagnosis and identify kidney dysfunction in the earliest stages. The health watchdog makes it clear that a highly sensitive test for the biomarker Cystatin C, should be used alongside the traditional creatinine test, for more accurate and earlier identification of kidney function deterioration.
Cystatin C is a protein produced by the body at a constant rate, its small molecular weight allows it to be completely broken down and removed by the kidneys; levels therefore, remain steady if the kidneys are working efficiently and the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is normal. If kidney function deteriorates, Cystatin C concentrations rise.
Testing for cystatin c means doctors can pick up on even the smallest changes in GFR, identifying a drop in kidney function at the earliest opportunity. Once a problem has been spotted early it can be managed through medication and/or changes to diet and lifestyle, preventing chronic kidney disease from occurring.
Around 2 million adults in England have CKD – but as it is largely asymptomatic and often undiagnosed, it is thought a further 1 million could also be suffering from the advanced stages of the disease. Dr Gilbert Wieringa, Consultant Biochemist at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, a keen advocate of the test commented:
“I welcome the fact that NICE now recognises Cystatin C as a key biomarker in the differential diagnosis of CKD. The ready availability of this blood test ensures the right treatment can be started for the right patient in the right time in turn helping to prevent or delay progression of CKD, reducing or delaying complications, and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. It provides a key example where investment in a diagnostic test helps reduce far greater cost burdens of managing secondary complications further down the line”
NICE says that while using the cystatin c test will increase the cost of diagnosis “accuracy is expected to improve and fewer people are expected to require treatment and monitoring”.
Dr Peter FitzGerald, MD at UK Biotech firm Randox, which has created a cystatin C test for use in every standard hospital lab in the UK, believes the new diagnostic method could have a significant impact on the financial burden of CKD on the NHS:
“CKD is closely linked with diabetes, obesity, stoke and cardio vascular disease – as we see these conditions increase across the UK, so too will the prevalence of CKD, but if we can catch kidney function damage early, we can prevent CKD and prevent the need for expensive medical interventions such as dialysis, the cost of which per patient, per year is around £31,000. Needless to say, it also comes at considerable personal expense, but this does not have to be the way.”
NICE estimates that up to 20% of the current CKD population may not have needed medication, if the new testing method was introduced and says “savings are expected at a local level as a result of this change.”