Case Studies

Case Studies

There is a wealth of opportunity for SMEs to grow and diversify, and to reflect the multiplicity of existing life science businesses in Greater Birmingham we have listed a selection here.


Adapttech chose to locate its headquarters in Greater Birmingham to capitalise on the region’s state-of-the-art healthcare facilities and educational institutions. The biomedical startup was established three years ago by two ambitious Portuguese engineers and entrepreneurs. The company focuses on developing technologies to help provide healthcare professionals with the tools to fit prosthesis and monitor the rehabilitation process.

Adapttech knew it wanted to set up its headquarters in the UK. For a startup looking for small overheads, it made more financial sense to look outside of London.

Choosing to locate south-west of Birmingham’s city centre places Adapttech at the centre of the region’s life sciences cluster and its world-class innovation institutions.

The company is located next to both the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the University of Birmingham – an institution renowned for world-class, highly respected biomedical courses. Operating three clinical trials units, the university campus is one of the two largest centres for clinical trials in the UK. With rapid expansion in mind, access to high quality, skilled graduate talent was a key consideration for Adapttech.

The investment in Greater Birmingham’s infrastructure and connectivity was also a draw. With its R&D centre back in Porto, having a number of direct flights from Birmingham Airport was seen as helpful to its employees.

Business Birmingham has supported Adapttech throughout its move from Portugal.

Founder of Adapttech Mario Saenz Espinoza, said:

“Business Birmingham advised us on prime office locations and has continued to support us in finding housing, as my co-founder Frederico Carpinteiro and myself move to be based in Birmingham permanently. We are looking forward to this transition and feel confident about our continued growth in Birmingham.”

Adapttech’s founder believes that locating the company’s base in Greater Birmingham will help the business to continuously grow, and achieve its ambitious goal: to reshape the future of the prosthesis fitting process.

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Binding Site

The Binding Site Group Ltd dates back to the early 1970s when a group of researchers within the Medical School of Birmingham University first started looking at innovative ways of producing antibodies. They founded a private company which has evolved into Binding Site and is now one of the largest independent providers of specialist in vitro diagnostic tests and equipment in the UK and the World leader in special protein testing.

Today it employs more than 700 people across all major markets worldwide, with offices in the UK, USA, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Binding Site exports ~90% of the products manufactured at its Birmingham head office and international trade has more than doubled between 2010 and 2015, with total worldwide Group revenues last year exceeding £80million. Most recently, Binding Site were recognised for their exceptional achievement in International Trade with a 2016 Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

In 2011, Binding Site relocated to new headquarters in Birmingham city centre, having had its roots at the University.

The company has opted to stay in the region not just because of its strong links with the University of Birmingham, but access to a multi-cultural population mix as well as excellent transport links.


Norwegian medical software company Dignio decided to locate its UK headquarters in Greater Birmingham to be at the centre of the UK’s largest medtech cluster. Dignio’s product enables patients with chronic conditions to access home-based care, with the aim of reducing patients’ need for face-to-face consultations in a traditional hospital setting.

The software platform is a secure, scalable, cloud-based TeleHealth solution, which combines empirical data from wearable monitoring devices with anecdotal data from the interaction between the patient and the remote clinician or multi-disciplinary team.

Dignio was attracted to Greater Birmingham, as a region known for its innovative and collaborative culture. Once the cradle of the industrial revolution, the area has grown to be a thriving hub for leading tech and life sciences start-ups, with more new companies created in Birmingham than any other UK city.

When expanding into the UK, Dignio wanted to match the favourable work environment to its current base in Norway and believed Greater Birmingham matched up well. Similar demographics, life expectancies and population size, all played a part.

The opportunity to be based in the University of Birmingham’s Research Park, which includes the BioHub laboratory, was also a big attraction for Dignio, as the company was keen to be part of this successful and collaborative health science community.

Greater Birmingham’s world-class universities and the Institute of Translational Medicine means Dignio and its employees are placed among its innovative peers, with access to a talent pool of high flying recruits with a scientific background.
Business Birmingham has supported Dignio in expanding to the UK.

Chief Executive Officer Lars Christian Dahle has spoken about why Birmingham was the right place for Dignio to set up:

“When we look to expand, we always want to create a similar environment to the one that has been so successful for us in Norway. Our move has been made easier after receiving significant support in setting up our office, as well as being introduced to sources of growth finance and legal and financial support.

“We are changing the face of healthcare and feel well-placed to grow, innovate and trial life changing technology among world class institutions in Birmingham.”

Having spotted a market for a more holistic approach to Chronic Disease Management, Dignio has now expanded into Eastern Europe, Singapore and China. By setting up in Birmingham, Dignio can capitalise on a number of NHS opportunities whilst helping deliver care for patients remotely in the UK
To find out more about Dignio visit its website here.

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Abingdon Health

Abingdon Health is a UK based medical diagnostics group focused on developing, manufacturing and commercialising point of care immunoassay tests for disorders of the immune system. Their initial focus is on developing rapid tests for haematology oncology and specifically B cell dyscrasias.

They launched the world’s first rapid diagnostic device in multiple myeloma in March 2015, Seralite®– FLC. The contract services team provides assay development and manufacturing services for customers looking to transfer existing laboratory based assays to a lateral flow format. They take projects from initial concept through to transfer to production. Abingdon Health are located in The BioHub Birmingham®.


Celentyx was founded upon applied research originating from the world-renowned Medical Research Council (UK) Centre for Immune Regulation, situated in the University of Birmingham Medical School.

The founders, Professor Nicholas Barnes and Professor John Gordon were amongst the first to recognise that many neurotransmitters also modify the immune system and are internationally recognised authorities in this relatively new field of neuroimmunopharmacology.

Their development of ImmuKnowlogy™ provides an efficient toolbox of routine and sophisticated methodologies to aid pharma R&D by understanding the effect of small molecule and biological candidate therapeutics upon the human immune system in health and disease.