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7 April, 2021 - 23:53 By Tony Quested

Boyds launches recruitment drive after surge in growth

Turnover at Cambridge pharmaceutical and biotech product development consultancy Boyds has surged by a record-breaking 25 per cent as demand for its specialist services continues to grow. The company is in the process of establishing an office in the US, which it plans to open this year.

The company, which was established 16 years ago by Professor Alan Boyd and supports the development of medicines for patient benefit, has already added seven regulatory and medical affairs experts to its team.

It is now launching an even larger recruitment drive creating up to 10 new roles to enhance its expertise, service demand for its services and expand the business.

Boyds has partnered with UK specialist recruitment company CK Clinical to oversee this recruitment push.

Over the past 12 months, Boyds’ regulatory team has worked with the MHRA in the UK and with the EU and US regulatory authorities on 19 orphan drug designations, 11 scientific advice procedures and three investigational new drug (IND) applications. 

Its expertise has also been called on for numerous COVID projects. The team is working on two COVID vaccine projects and two therapeutic approaches for the treatment of severe symptoms of COVID-19, as well as setting up and managing clinical trials during the pandemic. 

It has also recently commenced a project to develop the regulatory strategy to support challenge studies to accelerate the development of COVID and other vaccines.

The company has been directly involved in supporting seven of the 10 gene-based therapies that are now available for patient use either in the UK, the EU and the US. In 2018 it was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in recognition of this international work.

Boyds has seen substantial growth from US biotechs, with approximately 60 per cent of the company’s work now originating from the USA and continued interactions with the FDA on behalf of its clients. 

Boyds is now in the process of establishing an office in the USA to support this and in response to the increased demand. The office will open later this year.

“Our team of experts works with biotechs, academic groups and pharma companies from the early pre-clinical stages all the way through clinical development, product approval and beyond,” explains Professor Boyd. 

“We have experienced significant year-on-year growth with an increased demand particularly for our expertise in advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) and gene therapies, a trend that is continuing.

“In particular, clients are coming to us with advanced cell, gene and RNA therapies. We have seen an increase in the numbers of biologicals requiring development, as well as projects to repurpose existing medicines, 
particularly in light of the COVID-19 response. Our expertise has also been called upon with a number of COVID-19 vaccine projects.”

Professor Boyd does not see Brexit as an obstacle to growth. He said: “The UK’s departure from the EU should not hinder the vital development and approvals of new medicines. 

“Our regulatory team has worked tirelessly to navigate and interpret the new guidance from the regulatory authorities now that the exit transition period has ended, to ensure our clients’ projects can continue as seamlessly as possible. 

“Our office in Dublin gives us the important foothold in Europe to ensure clients, both in the UK and across the globe, can benefit from access to the European Medicines Agency.”

Boyds recently appointed Neil Chakrabarti as Chief Financial Officer. Neil has experience at both ends of the biotech spectrum. He has worked with a number of businesses across the sector including Stevenage Biocatalyst start-up Autolus Therapeutics plc, pharma business Vectura Group plc, leading multinational medical device manufacturer Medtronic plc, and private equity-backed business –  Independent Clinical Services.

Chakrabarti said: “I am delighted to be joining Boyds at this exciting time. The company is experiencing significant growth and I am looking forward to bringing measurable value to the team. 

“Working with Alan and the management team I will be contributing to the development of the business strategy, helping to improve processes and develop systems to support the growth and a move to greater efficiencies. Boyds clearly has an enviable reputation in the market and I am looking forward to driving and supporting growth plans as the company expands its market share.”

Alan Boyd, President and CEO, adds: “Over the past 12 months I have been taking time to reflect on the direction Boyds needs to take. I have been working with the management team and the specialist life sciences team at BDO, to take Boyds to the next level in its growth. 

“This has involved looking at our systems and processes, but also assessing the skills needed for the coming years. Neil’s appointment is instrumental in this and I am pleased to welcome him to the team. His expertise, challenge and focus will add value to the business as a whole, whilst helping us to build robust systems and processes which will support activities across the entire business.”

Boyds, which was established 16 years ago by Professor Alan Boyd and supports the development of medicines for patient benefit, has recently announced the launch of its biggest recruitment drive to date, creating up to ten new roles to enhance its expertise, service demand for its services, and expand the business.


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