Equine and Ovine Blood Products was a family partnership founded in 1978 with a contract to supply sterile Horse and Sheep blood to Gibco BRL in Paisley. Over the next eleven years the business grew as Gibco secured a high percentage of market share in the UK clinical sector and introduced the first commercially manufactured ready-to-use culture media. In 1989 an American directive determined the sale of the clinical microbiology division of Gibco’s UK operation, which meant that E&O’s donor blood harvesting business had no route to market and required investment and microbiology expertise to go it alone. After six months exposure to political and corporate turmoil, a financial crisis split the family partnership and E&O Laboratories Ltd was launched as an entrepreneurial gamble for the owner Virginia Lucey.
Having successfully gained credibility within the clinical sector for sterile animal blood products, E&O diversified its product range to include the manufacture of ready-to-use culture media. This was a major stepping-stone in the company’s growth and offered further opportunities for export into mainland Europe and the Middle East. Over the next five years the company concentrated on increasing sales and developing quality systems in line with business needs. E&O were recognised as Investors in People, gained BS EN.ISO9002:1994 accreditation and increased the staffing level to over 50 employees.
Following the millennium celebrations E&O’s strategic team planned further business diversification into the food and industrial sectors. Following the acquisition of a local food testing business, and relocation to Burnhouse, E&O Diagnostics Ltd was launched as a UKAS accredited analytical laboratory servicing the food, industrial and developing environmental business sectors. This service was further enhanced in 2004 with the addition of a chemical division.
Further product diversification into the Industrial and Pharmaceutical market followed the successful acquisition of the assets of Fred Baker / Biotrace International’s operation in Runcorn in early 2008.
After four years of continual growth in the ready-to-use media market E&O’s directors recognised the importance of quality raw material supply and decided to close the Food Testing business and concentrate on Dehydrated Culture Media formulations. In 2012 E&O Diagnostics opened a new R&D department and recruited a highly qualified Technical team who were tasked to develop a wide range of DCM and related supplements/reagents.
With the Burnhouse manufacturing facility approaching its full capacity, productivity was going to be compromised and new accommodation had to be sourced. After several months of searching, a suitable empty double industrial unit became available in a central location close to the main transport network and our head office. In 2013 the Westfield unit was purchased and over the next 4 years the two units were transformed into a modern cGMP state of the art manufacturing/warehouse/logistics facility.
Further investment was made during 2015/16 with the acquisition of the Media for Mycobacteria business (MFM) and, following the relocation from Cardiff to Burnhouse, E&O became the leading supplier of Media/Reagents for Mycobacteria in the UK.
With ever increasing demands for Horse and Sheep blood both for inhouse manufacture of plates and export enquires, the directors took the opportunity of investing in a local farm to facilitate the demand. In 2017 all the Donor animal blood harvest operation was moved to South Mains and a new blood processing laboratory was opened on site.
With the Westfield facility also going live in 2017, it was a busy year and the management team were stretched to the maximum. Both projects were successful and E&O went on to launch their new extensive Dehydrated Culture Media and Supplement product range targeting export opportunities.
E&O currently employ over 100 highly motivated professional staff. The team will continue to grow organically, with further investment and diversification into new and developing markets. Our culture is led by innovation, encompassing the highest family values with professional business practice at all times.