19 April 2014

Startup Of The Day: APC

06:19, Adrian Weckler

**Company:** APC

**Founders:** Mark Barrett, Brian Glennon

**What it does:** the company develops manufacturing and testing processes for very large pharmaceutical companies, often targeting the development of new drugs.

**Status:** operational, 12 major pharmaceutical customers

**Funding:** Enterprise Ireland

It is a little known fact that Ireland is the single largest exporter of pharmaceuticals in the world.

The near €50 billion worth of pharmaceutical and medical products that are shipped from Ireland make up the single largest tranche of exports we have.

Scratching below the surface, it’s not hard to see why. Eight of the top ten pharmaceutical companies have significant bases in Ireland, as to 15 of the top 25 medical device manufacturers.

This is one reason why (Doctor) Mark Barrett and (Professor) Brian Glennon, the co-founders of APC, will not be moving their fast-growing pharmaceutical services company from Ireland to the US, Britain or anywhere else.

"We’re already in the world’s main pharmaceutical industrial location," said Barrett. "Why would we leave and set up somewhere else? There wouldn’t be as many companies there. It may sound strange to say it, but there’s actually no better place to operate a company like ours."

APC now works with "the majority" of the world’s top 10 pharmaceutical companies, said Barrett.

The company, founded earlier this year as a spin-out from UCD’s School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering, is being lauded as one of Ireland’s most fiscally promising startups.

"We have 12 revenue-generating clients throughout Ireland, Europe and the US," said Barrett.

"We’ve hired three permanent PhD staff and offered an additional four PhD positions for early 2012. We plan to extend this total to to between 22 and 25 in 2013. At the moment we have money to hire people and also working closely with Enterprise Ireland to fund job expansion."

The company has not yet considered private equity funding, said Barrett.

This kind of rapid success hasn’t gone unnoticed. Last week, the company scooped NovaUCD’s 2011 Start-Up Award, €5,000 in cash and "€12,500 worth of professional services" from Deloitte and Arthur Cox among others. The award also includes six months’ free desk space at NovaUCD, from where the company has been operating.

**Contact journalist: adrian@businesspost.ie. Contact desk: digital@businesspost.ie.**