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Case study

PrimerDesign: Detecting the DNA of business growth


Case study

PrimerDesign is a biotechnology company that makes DNA detection kits. It has thousands of customers in 104 countries around the world, with the biggest customer base being diagnostic laboratories in hospitals.


Fast Facts

Start date: 2005

Website: www.primerdesign.co.uk

Market sector: biotechnology

Location: Southampton

Investment raised: self-funded

Number of employees: 24

Company turnover: £2.5m

"The first thing that SETsquared did for us was to provide an office, which was a hugely important part of getting established."

"SETsquared's advice and mentoring were really useful, and helped us to establish ourselves as a professionally run organisation. SETsquared helped us to knock our business plan into shape, and to be disciplined and focus on staying afloat at that early stage. The mentoring helped us to hone in on what was important, which was generating revenue."

"We attended two business review panels, which were a really good discipline and helped us to focus our priorities."

"In 2009, when we produced the world's first swine flu detection kit. SETsquared and the Universitypress office foresaw the impact of the story and helped us handle the enormous press interest, whichmassively raised our profile globally."

Jim Wicks, Managing Director, PrimerDesign

Article tags

SETsquared Support

  • mentoring
  • business review panels
  • networking
  • premises

SETsquared gave us the stability and platform to give it a shot as a company, and its business review panels provided the discipline and focus that turned us into a professional organisation.

Jim Wicks, managing director, PrimerDesign

Company Successes

June 2007: moved to Millbrook Technology Park

May 2009: developed world's first Mexican H1N1 swine flu detection kit

October 2011: moved to own offices

March 2013: helped tackle the horse meat food scandal by providing DNA test kits to quantify the presence of horse meat in food products

2014: launched the World's most affordable qPCR instrument at 33% of the price of a nearest competitor

2014: providing tests for emergency use in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa

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