APDN growing as DNA-marking contracts roll in

DNA helixApplied DNA Sciences (APDN) says it has boosted staff numbers at its facilities in the US and UK by more than 70 per cent on the back of strong business growth.

The specialist in DNA markers used to combat counterfeiting and theft said its headcount is now 48, with the new staff distributed across its scientific, quality and operational workforces at Stony Brook in New York and Aldford in the UK.

The UK unit was acquired when APDN bought RedWeb Technologies in a £400,000 ($625,000) deal announced earlier this year.

APDN said the expansion "accommodates the company's worldwide growth, including a broader product array and a growing sales pipeline."

The company has been enjoying a boost from the introduction by the US Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) of a DNA marking requirement for all electronic components procured for use by the military, saying it now had 16 contracts in place as a result.

However, it is taking time for these to add consistent upward momentum to revenue growth. Earlier this year APDN posted revenues down almost 40 per cent on the prior year, although sales levels quarter-to-quarter have historically been event-driven and pretty variable.
"The addition of top-notch people and an improved facility are two keys to handling growth," said Dr. James Hayward, APDN's president and chief executive.

"Our grow-the-company initiative will keep us steadily on the edge of science and innovation, something our customers have come to expect from us. We are prepared to deliver."
The company recently developed a new Technology Roadmap, which envisions a faster and higher-volume DNA marking platform, highly optimised rapid read and new breakthroughs in textile marking and authentication.

For example, earlier this year the company outlined a new formulation of its SigNature DNA technology that can be used to mark wool and cotton at industrial scale.

APDN is also moving into a larger (30,000 sq. ft.) plant with more lab space, improved security, new staging, shipping and fulfilment centres, and an expanded front office that will support the expansion of the business.
"We will remain light on our feet and able to serve customers quickly and with precision," Dr. Hayward commented. "Our new infrastructure is built to empower that philosophy."

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