Agrisera has been part of the fast-growing Uppsala company Olink Proteomics, which is listed on Nasdaq New York, since being acquired in the spring of 2020. Agrisera produces building blocks for Olink’s world-leading Proximity Extension Assay (PEA) technology, which can simultaneously measure up to 3,000 biomarkers in just a few microliters of blood.
“This technology enables an in-depth understanding of various disease processes, disease detection and contributes to actionable insights to better understand human biology and drive development of the next generation of therapeutics to improve future healthcare. . We are proud to play an important role of this development”, says Erika Gelfgren.
With the 2020 merger with Olink, Agrisera has grown significantly over the past two years. Today the company employs 42 staff and has already outgrown its former premises in Vännäs – both in terms of office space and laboratory facilities.
“Fortunately, Nordic Biomarker was moving to newly-built premises, so we were able to take over their old premises at Umestan. We consider it an advantage to expand the business in Umeå, where many of the skills we are looking for can be found thanks largely to the city’s university. With the life science industry on the rise, we need to strengthen our position as an attractive employer in order to continue to recruit people with the right skills. One prerequisite for this was to reduce the need for commuting”, says Erika Gelfgren.
Thanks to the relocation to Umestan, Agrisera has expanded its laboratory and office space several times over. But they are still active in Vännäs and see opportunities for development at both facilities.
“The business is performing strongly, and we continue to grow. We are becoming an increasingly integral part of the Olink Group and expanding in line with Olink’s overall mission. This gives us the opportunity to take on new challenges and laboratory tasks at Agrisera – either to support other Olink departments in existing processes – or contribute to totally new processes”, says Erika Gelfgren.
Agrisera is also a world-leading supplier of antibodies for plant research and continues to strengthen its position in this field. The majority of the business is conducted through a number of carefully-chosen international distributors, as well as through direct sales via the company’s online store.
“Our goal is to always be at the forefront of what we do and to be able to offer the antibodies needed for future research on plant and algal proteins. Our product range is constantly expanding”, says Erika Gelfgren.
Agrisera believes recruiting experienced industry professionals is a challenge and wants to promote Umeå’s life science industry outside the municipality’s borders in order to attract talent back to Umeå or convince people to move to the city for the first time.
“We feel the training provided in Umeå largely caters to the skills we need, but that a vocational program with a laboratory focus could be a good complement to boost competences even further”, says Erika Gelfgren, and continues:
“It is fantastic to be active in a place like Umeå, where life science companies are flourishing, and an increasing number of industries are discovering the benefits of our city. This is important because it attracts more companies and creates new positions that can benefit from the university’s training programmes. So, more people can find work here, and we get to retain their skills in Umeå”.
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