Cork food trial firm expands with Chicago office

Pictured at a roundtable discussion at the U.S. Chamber’s Washington D.C. (left to right): Barry Skillington, CFO and Co-Founder, Atlantia Clinical Food Trials, Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar T.D., Andrea Doolan, CEO of Atlantia Clinical Food Trials and Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland. Photo: John Harrington.

A Cork food study firm has opened a US office because of what it calls an "ever-increasing demand for clinical trials" on foods that claim to improve health.

Atlantia Food Clinical Trials said it will create an initial six jobs on opening in Chicago, growing to 20 within two years.

A spin out of the APC Microbiome Ireland hosted at UCC, which is funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), Blackpool-headquartered Atlantia specialises in conducting studies in foods and supplements for firms that want to scientifically validate their health and marketing claims.

It also evaluates so-called "live biotherapeutic" products, which contains microorganisms used for the prevention, and treatment of diseases.

Chief executive and co-founder at Atlantia, Andrea Doolan said: "The decision to expand our clinic base in Chicago is due to the ever-increasing demand for clinical trials on functional foods. This industry is in a phase of rapid discovery and strong growth, and as a leading expert in clinical studies, we can help our clients to deliver on their product development needs, in a highly competitive market."

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who announced the expansion in Washington DC, said: "This is a big step for Atlantia and it marks the next phase of the company’s development. Atlantia has grown out of one of our Government-backed SFI Research Centres based at UCC, which are helping to create a new generation of cutting-edge enterprises which are using innovation to respond to consumer and market demand.

The firm has worked with global food companies on trials relating to sports performance, cardiovascular, cognitive function, muscle loss in the elderly and oral health.

Meanwhile, Synergy Flavours, a division of Cork-headquartered cheese maker and food ingredient firm Carbery Group, has doubled the size of its Thailand operation.

The firm said it was expanding its Bangkok facility to meet growing demand for its flavouring in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Thai facility produces sweet and savoury flavours, as well as seasonings in liquid and powder formats, Synergy said.

The dairy flavour and lactic yeast extract range from Synergy’s Dairy Taste production facility in Cork is warehoused and distributed from Thailand, it said.

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