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Award hat-trick for pioneering cancer diagnosis equipment manufacturer

A pioneering Newtown company which specialises in the design and manufacture of consumables and equipment used in the diagnosis of cancer has added another Powys Business Award to its bulging trophy cabinet.

CellPath Ltd collected the Technology and Innovation Award sponsored by Trax JH Ltd for the third time at the annual awards night held at The Hafren, Newtown. Powys Business Awards are organised by Mid Wales Manufacturing Group.


Paul Webber, CellPath’s joint managing director, said:

“It’s fabulous to win this award because it’s recognition from our peers. These awards help with recruitment because people want to join a winning team and this is proof that we are doing a good job.

“The company is enjoying double digit growth this year which is fuelled by exports.”

CellPath is reaping the rewards of investing in research and development in 2011 to develop the next generation of products for cancer diagnosis. These products not only offered improved diagnosis and were easier to use, but also provided significantly improved profit margins and secure revenue streams.

A team of engineers, chemists and biomedical scientists was recruited, taking the R&D head count from 0.5 to five. Productivity was improved by embedding an accelerated design process, which more than halved the time taken to market a new product.

[aoa id=”1″]Since 2012, revenue from new products has risen fourfold. CellPath now has 20 instruments in its histology range, with sales set to contribute more than five per cent of total sales revenue this year. In addition, global distribution agreements are expected to generate a similar figure.[/aoa]

The company’s Supa Mega ‘Large Format’ Tissue Processing Products, which halves processing time for large specimens critical in the treatment of cancer, is set to achieve sales greater than 20% up on last year.

Development of automated robotic production cells within the injection moulding department helped to open 40% of a global market for cassettes which was previously closed to CellPath.

An innovation leader in histopathology, CellPath secured funding of 1.2 million euros from Europe and UK to work with five countries to develop an automated microtomy solution. A working prototype reduced turn-around times for specimen diagnosis and eliminated risks associated with human error and misdiagnosis.

CellPath has also worked with Wolfson School of Engineering, Loughborough University on a £400,000 project, funded by Innovate UK, to develop ultrasonically assisted microtomy. A working prototype has been tested at St Thomas’s Hospital, London and, when commercialised, CellPath predicts annual revenues to increase by more than 16% within three years.

Powys Business Awards judges said:

“CellPath has dedicated a team within the business to champion research and development and innovation. Judges were impressed with the systems in place for R&D decision making and for the measurement of the success of innovative products once they are launched.

“Time to market for these new products has been significantly accelerated for the business and the drive towards innovation is evidently a top priority for the senior management team.”