A YORK business which develops man made alternatives to antibodies using nucleic acid is on a mission to become a global leader in the delivery of aptamer technology.

Entering the Small Business of the Year category, Aptamer Group, based a York Science Park, develops apatmers for use in research development development, biomarker discovery, diagnostics or therapeutic developments.

The business is privately owned, and has secured several deals with five top global pharma companies, as well as working with Cancer Research UK and a number of Russell Universities.

Katie Lockwood, of Aptamer Group, said: “Our vision is to develop our group of companies into global leaders in the delivery of aptamer technology.

“ We will achieve this through strategic technology development, acquisitions and strong sales revenues.

“We will develop novel and innovative products in each business area developing a self-sustaining group of companies that can discover, develop and exploit aptamer technology.

“Our strategic decisions over the past 12 months have enabled Aptamer Group to go from strength to strength. The most recent addition was the formation of a separate R&D laboratory, devoted to the development of new aptamer technologies.

“In addition we have continued to strengthen our team, adding world leading experts in the field of aptamers and experienced sales people from the life sciences industry.”

Aptamer Group, which now employs a team of 24 staff, has been named as one of a handful of global companies offering aptamer services by a recent report from Market and Markets (Aptamers Market - Technology Trend Analysis By Applications - Global Forecasts to 2018). However they believe they have a distinct advantage.

Miss Lockwood said: “Although the aptamer market is about to explode nobody can forecast with certainty which area of the market is going to take off first.

“Aptamer Group has a unique ability to service each of the areas i.e. therapeutics, diagnostics in addition to custom aptamer development and biomarker discovery. This coupled with our world class team of scientists and HTS offers us the edge in the aptamer field.

“We have accelerated towards an important point in our development, in that we have entered the market early and positioned the Group of companies in each of the critical fields of aptamer growth and have the people, technology and passion to stand head and shoulders above our competition.

“Over the past 12 months we have continued to expand, increasing our team by 50 per cent. While aptamer science is a specialised field, we continue to provide opportunities to develop scientists. Being located on the York Science Park, we have built a strong relationship with the University of York and regularly work with their undergraduate students and PhD students.”