UK-based Contract Research Organisation (CRO) Gentronix – the leading specialist genetic toxicology CRO – is set to expand its genetic toxicology capabilities and accelerate its growth following acquisition of the Big Blue® transgenic mutation assay models from Merck.

The acquisition ensures the continuing market provision of the Big Blue® transgenic assays for companies requiring mutagenicity assessment under the OECD 488 guideline, with these studies playing a central role in enabling risk assessments for materials where pre-existing data indicates a potential mutagenicity risk to human health and the environment.

Gentronix, which employs expert toxicologists at its GLP facility, has continued to scale up during the pandemic – recording more than 25% growth across the past two years – with the acquisition further strengthening its portfolio of OECD guideline genetic toxicology testing services.

Together with existing initiatives in areas covering in vitro skin and in vitro ocular toxicity testing, and plans to increase capacity within core service offerings, the acquisition of Big Blue® is set to double the CRO’s revenues, and along with further expansion of the laboratory footprint at Alderley Park will create more than 20 new jobs for scientists within the next two years.

Matt Tate, Gentronix Managing Director, said, “This is an incredibly exciting acquisition for the company, enhancing our credentials as the leading specialist genetic toxicology contract research organisation, and is an important statement for the toxicology testing capabilities within the UK life sciences sector.

“The acquisition of the Big Blue® transgenic rat and mouse models is a transformational step for Gentronix, giving us the capability to support clients to understand if mutation risk is of relevance to humans and the environment, which is critical to a project’s success or failure.

“Our business will now be equipped to support our growing client base from their very first genetic toxicology screens right through to helping them manage complex mutagenicity risk assessments. We are really looking forward to supporting our clients with this enhanced service capability from our expanding facility.”

Gentronix provides specialist toxicology testing services for pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, cosmetics, personal care and consumer products and specialises in providing solutions for genetic, skin and ocular toxicology to clients including major pharmaceutical and chemical companies, supporting them from early-stage discovery through to regulatory submission and approval.