As Somru BioScience puts the finishing touches on its new 5,000-square-foot headquarters in Charlottetown, its leaders are already talking about doubling its size next year and eventually building a 20,000-square foot facility.

The reason for the aggressive expansion plans is the company, which has developed a series of tools for the early detection of diseases, recently formed a joint venture with a major pharmaceutical company in Bangladesh. The P.E.I. company expects the partnership with Radiant Pharmaceuticals will produce sales of $50 million over five years — that’s just the cut for Somru itself. With such strong sales growth, the company expects its Charlottetown staff will grow from the current level of 15 people to about 100.

“We look forward to a fast expansion in Bangladesh to strengthen our footprint in the growing health sector, leveraging our own unique products and technical expertise developed in Canada for international markets,” said Somru vice-president Mohammed Moin.

Having been in business for about five years, Somru already has 70 clients in more than 20 countries, though its joint venture with Radiant is easily its biggest deal yet. Radiant is a drug manufacturing company that has grown into a multinational enterprise with more than 1,000 employees since it received its first licensing deal with F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. of Basel, Switzerland in 2005.

In an interview, Moin said the joint venture will use Somru’s tools in the Bangladeshi market to ensure the early diagnosis of diseases like diabetes and cancer. Somru decided to form a new company with Radiant rather than just selling the Bangladeshi company its products so it could gain from the success of the business.

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The story of Somru began about 15 years ago when Moin came to Canada from his native Bangladesh to attend the University of Prince Edward Island. Meanwhile, his brother Rafiq Islam had attended university in Nebraska. The two brothers shared ideas for developing a company around Rafiq’s research into disease detection. They launched the company in 2012, choosing Charlottetown as the headquarters because of its support network for biotech companies.

“There are very good incubation services available in P.E.I. and there was space available,” said Moin. “So we thought it would be a good place to undertake research and development and commercialize our products.”

Today, Somru offers a range of products centred around antibody technology for research, diagnostic and therapeutic applications. The company uses a unique technology that produces antibodies that bind more readily with or draw greater responses from living tissue than other products.

The company is now working out of three facilities in the Charlottetown area, and Phase 1 of its new headquarters in the BioCommons Research Park should allow them to consolidate their operations within a month. Last spring, Somru said it would finance the new facility with a $500,000 loan from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and additional funding worth $450,000 from the provincial government. The company has also worked with such groups on P.E.I. as the EmerGence biotech incubator.

So far, Moin said the brothers have not raised external funds, preferring to retain equity as their family provided early stage financing. But he added that he has begun discussions about raising equity capital. financing. These discussions are continuing as some potential investors want to invest in specific products and other want to back the whole company.