A LIFE sciences company expects to create up to 50 new jobs after doubling its operation.
Immunodiagnostic Systems (IDS), which is gearing up for growth in the U.S. and Europe, has added an extra 20,000sqft of production and office space next door to its current base at Boldon Business Park.
The medical diagnostic firm, a leader in vitamin D testing kits, has seen profits soar since it started local production in 1990.
It also has a manufacturing facility in Liège, Belgium, as well as other European operations.
About 100 of its 294 strong workforce are based on South Tyneside.
The company has seen demand for vitamin D testing grow and is now selling products in the U.S, potentially boosting sales beyond £100million in five years.
Demand is also growing in Australia, Canada, Japan and the Middle East.
IDS finance director Barry Hextall said: “Moving into the new facility is a major step for IDS, and an important platform for the company’s future development plans.
“It couldn’t have come at a better time.
“We’ve enjoyed significant growth since we floated back in 2004, as demand for vitamin D testing grows globally.
“However, the U.S is the biggest market in the world and this is creating huge opportunities.
“From a logistics point-of-view, it would have been very difficult to meet this extra demand from the existing site alone, which is why we’ve been looking at different options for some time.”
Tyne and Wear Development Company has worked with senior management at IDS since late 2009 to ensure the investment, evaluating the company’s needs and identifying possible expansion sites and sources of funding.
Regional development agency One NorthEast backed the project with a grant of £245,000 from the Grant for Business Investment scheme, with additional funding from South Tyneside Council.
Councillor Michael Clare, the authority’s Lead Member for Jobs, Enterprise and Regeneration, said: “IDS is a real success story and it is excellent news that the company is strengthening its position and growing in this harsh economic climate.
“By supporting local businesses, South Tyneside Council strives to stimulate economic growth, encourage innovation and create employment opportunities.
“I wish IDS well for the future.”