At the end of September, we at Hart Biologicals celebrated our 20-year anniversary. Over on the Hart's Heritage page, we've kept a record of the celebrations, milestones, and awards that we've enjoyed together at Hart.
Especially notable are the life achievements of our founder, Albert "Alby" Pattison. Sadly, in late October 2022, Alby passed away. Alby founded Hart Biologicals locally in Hartlepool, starting from a small team of just three.
In 2022, Hart employs over forty people, and the growth and success that we've achieved is in no small part due to Alby's experience, his willingness to give local people a chance to thrive, and his dedication.
Hart Biologicals wouldn't be the company it was today without 20 years of Alby's time and energy, so we'd like to take some time to celebrate both the company's history, and Alby's.
In 2002, Alby, already an industry expert in the fields of coagulation and platelet aggregation, founded the company with a core mission to manufacture and supply the Manchester Capillary Reagent.
As a first-choice solution for INR monitoring, acquiring the rights for manufacture and distribution was integral to Hart's early identity, and with the MC1 line of instruments, is still a significant portion of Hart's business twenty years later.
Hart grew from strength to strength until we outgrew the original premises in 2009, where we moved to our current home of Rivergreen Business Centre, in Queens Meadow. From this seat, the company continues to produce the Manchester reagent, as well as housing the Research & Development facilities, in-house production team, and the other teams critical to Hart's success.
As Hart continued to grow, in 2013 a line of platelet aggregation products became available, a project and research area for which Alby was eternally passionate.
This allowed us to work with the industry's experts (especially Haemochrom Diagnostica, with whom we secured one of our first European distribution contracts in 2014) to supply a full reagent suite for both whole-blood and plasma testing.
Alby's dedication to the local community never wavered, in 2017 securing him the Freedom of Hartlepool for his services to the local community, and in 2018 an MBE awarded by the Duke of Cambridge.
Along the way, Hart was representing the UK at trade shows (especially the International Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, ISTH) and achieving recognition as Innovation and Export leaders in the North East Business Awards. In 2018, one of our strategic partnerships allowed us to open up a bespoke, humidity-controlled laboratory (our sixth on-site lab!) and increased capacity all the more.
Alby handed over the reins to current Managing Director, Alexander Ebinger, in 2019. Although he remained a crucial partner in terms of his network, his consultancy, and his assistance in Research & Development, Alby was freed up to focus on the activities he was most passionate about.
He never slowed down, though, bringing in multiple new strategic partners, training and contributing to R&D, and setting some groundwork for Hart to expand beyond the haemostasis space and into novel scientific areas.
In 2020, Hart finalised the launch of the multiple electrode aggregometry (MEA) reagents, completing the catalogue to offer solutions for LTA and MEA, to ensure high-quality reagents throughout all areas of platelet testing.
We also looked to provide a high-quality scientific alternative to routine INR testing with the FIIX Test Kit. As COVID-19 hit the world, Hart continued to globally supply key reagents and tests through a time of worldwide uncertainty.
Hart expanded horizons into 2021 by beginning to publicise and offer bespoke contract development and research as a core part of the business.
We went through a refresh of our online presence, and expanded our teams in R&D, Sales, and Marketing. We streamlined our Quality Assurance teams and procedures, implementing a new EQMS ahead of the upcoming changes to IVDR regulations.
In 2022, Hart is celebrating a huge influx of infrastructure and capacity, we have a state-of-the-art filling line freshly installed in-house, increasing our liquid-filling capacity five-fold. We attended the first post-COVID edition of ISTH, where we'd started our trade show journey over seven years prior.
As the 20th anniversary came and went, we celebrated with a day trip to Roseberry Topping and a company meal, together with some inspiring speeches from Alby and Alex.
Sadly, a few weeks after such a momentous milestone, our founder passed away. Alby had a tremendous impact on the company, both in terms of its growth, its success, and its vision.
We can never replace Alby, but as a company, Hart Biologicals will strive to carry on in his footsteps, furthering the research projects, community efforts, and local initiatives that he held so dear.
Thank you Alby, for everything.