05 April 2013

Daktari Diagnostics to create 126 jobs in Scotland

04 April 2013 – US-based Daktari Diagnostics is locating its global manufacturing base in Inverness, Scotland. The £12 million project is being supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Scottish Development International (SDI) with a £2.2 million public sector package for relocation and workforce training. 

Daktari, which currently employs 40 staff from its base in Cambridge, Massachusetts, develops diagnostic tests for global health conditions such as HIV, hepatitis, and tuberculosis. The company plans to begin production of cartridges for handheld HIV monitoring devices as early as 2014. The move could create up to 126 jobs in the Highland capital, and the business's presence will build on the region's growing expertise in research, development and production in the life sciences sector. 

Welcoming the announcement as part of Scotland Week programme of inward investment activity in the US, First Minister, Alex Salmond, said: "Daktari's intention to locate its manufacturing base in Scotland is testament to our increasing reputation as a growing life sciences community and as the ideal place to invest and do business."

Daktari Diagnostics, which has been successful in attracting significant equity fundraising, is also expanding activities in the United States, Germany, and in key African countries. The Scottish venture could see mass production of blood testing cartridges required for CD4 cell counting, a process used in HIV monitoring, as early as next year. The system is currently undergoing clinical trials in Africa. 

Bill Rodriguez, MD, President and CEO of Daktari Diagnostics Inc., commented: "Inverness, Scotland, offers companies like ours considerable support and a great location, with a highly educated work force and an ability to expand rapidly to support the demand for our new product." 

Anne MacColl, Chief Executive, Scottish Development International, said: "We have worked closely with Daktari to support its move to Scotland where it will now join a thriving life sciences industry.”

Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of HIE, commented: "We are delighted that Daktari has selected our region over a number of extremely competitive worldwide locations, including Singapore, the United States and Canada." 

Source: Scottish Development International