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Overwatch invests in R&D to secure multimillion-pound drug development deals in the US

10th June 2021

The  Project
The company’s software works by reducing errors in the logging of important data in preclinical research, improving the drug development process for global pharmaceutical companies. Overwatch’s customers include Boston-based Blueprint Medicines, The Institute of Cancer Research in London and a global pharmaceutical company who recently agreed a multi-year seven-figure licence deal.

How did ERDF funding, through the EU Investment for Growth & Jobs Programme, contribute to the success of the project/scheme? 

Congratulating the company, Kevin Holland, Invest NI’s CEO said: “Overwatch is a great example of how investing in innovation and R&D can open major global business opportunities for a company. Our Grant for R&D supports Northern Ireland companies to develop products and services, which helps to strengthen their competitiveness in the global marketplace. Over the last three years, we have built a strong partnership with Overwatch, helping it to add six new staff and develop their world-class software platform, which ultimately enables pharmaceutical companies to get drugs to market quicker. Overwatch started out as a participant in the Co-Founders programme run by Catalyst NI before earning a place on Invest NI’s Propel Pre-accelerator in 2018. Following our technical assistance and support for R&D it launched its first product in 2019 and secured its first sale with a US pharma company that same year. Since then, it has won numerous contracts in the US, which is excellent progress for such an early-stage company. This is only the beginning for Overwatch and Invest NI looks forward to supporting it to continue to grow further in international markets.”

Future plans
Dr Chris Armstrong, Chief Executive, Overwatch “We have accessed a range of Invest NI support to grow our team and build a world-class software platform that prevents scientists from making mistakes in the error-prone tasks of study design, data collection and data analysis. We brought our software to market in 2019 and have already had quite considerable success in the US market. This includes a multi-year seven-figure deal with a US-based multinational biopharmaceutical company. Invest NI’s support has been crucial to our ambitions to grow further, move into new overseas markets and build our own in-house development capability as part of our future five year growth strategy.”

Invest NI’s R&D support is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014-2020.

In recognition of Overwatch’s commitment to innovation, it has been awarded a Gold Level Innovator Certificate from Innovate NI. Innovate NI is a Department for the Economy programme, helping local businesses innovate successfully. It is delivered by Invest NI, local councils and further education colleges. For further information visit www.innovateni.com

Pictured (L-R) is Kevin Holland, CEO, Invest NI with Dr Chris Armstrong, Chief Executive, Overwatch.
Pictured (L-R) is Kevin Holland, CEO, Invest NI with Dr Chris Armstrong, Chief Executive, Overwatch.