Board Appointment – Operations Director

A pipette drops samples of a red liquid into containers

IDS, a leading producer of diagnostic testing kits, announces the appointment of Christopher Ian Cookson as Operations Director of the company with effect from 1 November. Ian Cookson, aged 53, brings more than 20 years of experience gained in senior appointments within the In Vitro Diagnostics (IVD) industry, and a skill set of particular relevance to the forward strategic plans of IDS. Mr Cookson joins IDS from Axis-Shield plc, where he is Managing Director of their Dundee based Laboratory Division with revenues of over £17 million and 130 employees.

Mr Cookson has played a central role in the growth of the Laboratory Division, including consolidating all diagnostics production to a new facility in Dundee and executing a number of development and manufacturing agreements with Abbott Laboratories of Chicago USA. More recently Axis-Shield has developed proprietary immunoassays under their own name for distribution on Abbotts AxSYM automated immunoassay platform.

His experience will be particularly relevant to his new position as Operations Director of IDS. With the licence agreement to the 3X3 instrument signed with Biocode-Hycel of Liège in December 2006, and the subsequent acquisition of the Franco/Belgian company in its entirety in August 2007, IDS has entered the realm of automated IVD. This represents a sea change in the strategic development of IDS, and one that provides substantial new challenges to the team.

Board appointments in the recent past directly address these challenges. Ian Cookson will join Tony Wilks (ex-Nichols Institute Diagnostics (NID) with a long experience of instrumentation sales and support) and Dr Martha Garrity (ex-NID and 12 years in immunoassay development for automation), where the extensive skills and experience gained at Axis-Shield will be invaluable.

Also, with the completion of the acquisitions of Nordic Bioscience Diagnostics (NBD; July 2007) and Biocode-Hycel (August 2007), there is to be a period of consolidation of the businesses to attain efficiencies, increase revenues and reduce costs. IDS is also committed to transfer production of NBD products from Copenhagen to Boldon, UK, and Mr Cookson will be central to the successful execution of these tasks.

Ian Cookson commented: I am very pleased to be joining IDS at this time. I have followed their impressive growth since flotation with admiration. The recent acquisitions give the company the opportunity to provide its tests on an automated platform to its key customer groups. I am looking forward to playing my part in the future success of the company.

Managing Director IDS, Dr Roger Duggan, said: We have set ourselves a demanding schedule in the acquisitions of NBD and Biocode-Hycel and entry into fully-automated immunoassay, and the calibre of the Senior Team is critical to the success of this venture. The addition of Ian to the team as Operations Director, together with that of Alain Rousseau of Biocode-Hycel as Engineering Director, gives me tremendous confidence that we will meet our goals. IDS is set to become a significant force in the specialist IVD market, and I predict a period of continued growth, market penetration and enhanced shareholder value in the months and years ahead.

Save as set out below, there is no further information to disclose in respect of Mr. Cookson under paragraph (g) of Schedule 2 to the AIM rules.

Past and Current Directorships: Axis-Shield Diagnostics Ltd

Enquiries:
Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings plc
Parkgreen Communications Ltd

Dr. Roger Duggan, Managing Director
Paul McManus

Tel: 0191 519 0660