Administration for Belfast drug firm to endanger 50 jobs

Thu, 26 Oct 2017

A Belfast-based company that carries out trials on new drugs has gone into administration, risking jobs for around 50 of its employees.

Bio-Kinetic Europe, which carries out investigations into new treatments for conditions such as asthma, arthritis and diabetes, announced this week that HNH Group had been appointed as administrators to the company.

After being at the forefront of early phase drug development for more than 20 years, the company said that the late cancellation of many “key clinical trials” had led to a recent reversal of fortunes.

Bio-Kinetic has just shy of 60 employees at its medical laboratory on Great Victoria street. Company Directors Crawford McClean and Dr David Bell, who made the decision to place the firm into administration, have said that their staff members’ futures remain unclear.

A Companies House entry for the firm also shows that economic development agency Invest NI took out a fixed charge over Bio-Kinetic in April 2017.

Two insolvency partners from HNH Group, James Neill and Rachel Foster, will take care of the company’s affairs, business and property going forward.

Neill said that their priority would be to communicate any changes to the firm’s key stakeholders.

He added: “The late cancellation of a number of key clinical trial projects, for reasons beyond the control of management, has resulted in significant working capital pressures within the business. The directors have subsequently had to make the difficult decision to place the company into administration.”

Following an immediate assessment of Bio-Kinetic’s financial position, the administrators will consider the options available to the company.

Established in 1996 as Mullaghbawn Ltd, the company thrived well into the 21st century after securing major contracts from large pharmaceuticals companies in 2008. Though many of its repeat clients were based in the UK, Europe and Asia, Bio-Kinetic also had a growing business in the US.


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