Company’s Langholm owner: I feel it’s a worthwhile investment
TWO men, who were born and raised in Langholm, are producing drug capsules for clinical trials.
Martin Tedham is chairman of the pharmaceutical and health product specialist group Wasdell, which has its headquarters in Swindon in Wiltshire.
He says the group has invested in specialist machinery which can manufacture capsules for drugs being used by the pharmaceutical industry in small-batch, clinical trials.
One of Wasdell’s first contracts was packing capsules for a Swindon pharmaceutical firm. However, that firm was taken over by an international company and manufacturing of the capsules ceased in Swindon in 2012.
“Supporting all-important, small-batch, clinical trials is one of our specialisms and, lately, we have been inundated with requests from hospitals and medical professionals to manufacture these capsules,” said Martin. “We are one of the few UK life science partners to hold an MIA IMP (Investigational Medicinal Products) licence.
“That means we have a licence to manufacture and pack drugs for clinical trials and we feel this investment is important and worthwhile.
“From a personal point of view, it’s also very gratifying to know that Wasdell has brought back the manufacture of pharmaceutical capsules to Swindon.”
The project is being run by senior quality specialist Callum Wilson, who also hails from Langholm. Callum said: “This new machinery is perfect for manufacturing the small batches which are used in clinical trials. “We are already manufacturing blinded actives, placebos and comparators.
“Actives are the drugs which are being evaluated by doctors or scientists, comparators are drugs which are already being used to treat medical conditions, while placebos contain no drug product at all.”
The drugs are sent directly by Wasdell to hospitals and clinics in the UK and EU. Wasdell can trace which drug is in which pack and, in the case of a double-blinded trial, to protect trial integrity it is essential that neither the doctors nor their patients is aware of whether they are taking a drug being trialled.
The company says this investment is not connected to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Wasdell Group is the largest independent hi-tech pharmaceutical and healthcare manufacturing and research partner in Europe. It has enjoyed sustained growth. The 2010 turnover has risen year on year from £2m to £42.7m in 2019.
The company is family-owned and run. Martin Tedham is chairman and his son, Daniel, is managing director.
They work with 280 partners involved in clinical trials and life sciences in 47 countries. In recognition of its success the company was placed 81st in the Sunday Times Profit Track 100 list and 17th in the top 100 medium-sized firms in south west England.