Ireland's ‘Quantum leap’ as biotech world leader

From lightning-quick leukemia testing to a world-leading DNA factory and heart-healthy butter straight from Darina Allen’s kitchen, an eclectic bunch of biotechnology companies are helping copper-fasten Ireland’s reputation as a global biotech leader.

The IndieBio synthetic biology accelerator programme, now in its third year, drew to a close last night with a demo evening at Cork City Gaol, having attracted 13 innovative startups from across the world to Leeside for the past three months.

Indian biotechnology company Helixworks is one of those putting down roots in Ireland ahead of establishing the country’s first DNA foundry which will allow Irish researchers much quicker access to DNA at a fraction of the cost thanks to its innovative technology.

“They’ve got a new technology that allows them to make the DNA, instead of letter by letter, word by word. if you can get it done overnight, that’s just a complete gamechanger.

“It could really catapult the whole of Ireland a quantum leap ahead,” IndieBio founder Bill Liao said.

After the success of last year’s crop of companies — all but two of which raised further funding to develop their products — the “mind-blowing” class of 2016 have followed suit in helping develop Ireland’s biotech reputation across the world.


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