UK-based Contract Research Organisation (CRO) Gentronix – the largest independent genetic toxicology CRO in Europe – has appointed a new Operations Director to accelerate its strategic growth plans.

Laura Hinton, whose previous role was as Director of Scientific Operations at Cyprotex, will join the senior executive team working alongside fellow Operations Director Nick Billinton to facilitate a ‘scale at pace’ growth strategy for the business in line with burgeoning market demand as well as growth into new markets and service areas.

As a leading predictive toxicology contract research organisation, Gentronix’s work helps develop safe products used by millions of people around the world including pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, fragrances, foods and cosmetics. The business has a specialist focus on genetic toxicology and skin toxicology services and already works with a number of the top ten global pharmaceutical businesses as well as leading brands in the agrichemical, flavours and personal care industries.

Laura brings a wealth of industry experience to Gentronix including 13 years at Cyprotex, where she played a pivotal role in the firm’s strategic growth journey. In addition to her involvement in strategic leadership, Laura was responsible for building effective teams and infrastructure to support ambitious and efficient growth within the firm’s scientific functions as well as co-developing a comprehensive programme of learning and development.

Based at Alderley Park, Gentronix delivers predictive toxicology products and services to global chemical sectors. Working with companies from early screening through to regulatory GLP safety assessment, the business delivers highly innovative solutions for both genetic toxicology and skin sensitisation.

Earlier this year the business secured development capital funding from Northern VCTs managed by Mercia and appointed CRO industry leader Alan Morgan as non-executive Chairman. The business recorded 15% revenue growth in 2019 and expects to double staff numbers over the next three years. It is currently expanding its laboratory facilities at Alderley Park to increase its capacity for genetic and skin toxicology testing whilst adding a range of new services, including bioanalytical, in vitro gene mutation, 3D in vitro skin irritation & corrosion models, and phototoxicity.

Managing Director at Gentronix, Matt Tate, added: “Following the round of investment secured by the business at the end of 2019, we have embarked on a comprehensive growth strategy looking at increasing capacity within our genetic toxicology offering and expanding the service areas offered by the business to include skin toxicology services. The business will be adding further adjacent space services to be announced in 2021.

“Laura’s appointment supplements our existing leadership team and adds a new, yet vastly experienced voice to this project and the future direction of the business. Her expertise and experience in driving growth and expansion within the sector will be immensely valuable as we accelerate our scale-up plans to meet continued and increasing global demand.”

Commenting on her appointment, Laura said: “The expertise and service levels that Gentronix delivers are of the highest quality and as it embarks on its ambitious and exciting growth journey, now is the perfect time to join the business and help it take this next step in its development.

“This role gives me a hands-on opportunity to drive forward the growth of the business across each of its functions and I’m looking forward to using my experience to support the team and help maximise the potential of an already impressive organisation.”