Florida, USA-based pharmaceutical product development group AzoPharma has taken its first steps outside of its home territory by establishing a European base at Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire.

The company says it is setting up a new laboratory and offices to enable it to provide its range of services to European clients across the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device sectors more efficiently.

AzoPharma said it was attracted to Welwyn Garden City as a location for the new European HQ as it lies within the “research golden triangle” of Cambridge, Oxford and London, and that it reached its decision with support from East of England International, an organisation that helps foreign-owned businesses looking to invest in the region.

“Choosing Hertfordshire places Azopharma in the centre of the UK’s pharmaceutical hub which is the home for many major pharmaceutical companies in Europe, as well as giving it excellent communication links and access to a pool of specialist personnel”, explained Nykki Rogers, EEI’s business development manager.

The company says it plan to employ up to fifteen staff in the first instance but expects to expand “quite quickly” so that ultimately it will be able to offer all of the services it provides in the US to its European customers from a UK base, boosting employment in the region in the process.