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Industry Biotechnology
Founded 2005
Headquarters Southampton, United Kingdom
Area served
Key people
Dr Jim Wicks, Dr Rob Powell and Professor Tom Brown

Primerdesign is a UK-based biotechnology company that designs and sells products for quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). The company was established in 2005 in Southampton, United Kingdom.


Primerdesign was founded by Dr Jim Wicks, Dr Rob Powell and Professor Tom Brown within the University of Southampton to share their expertise in real-time PCR and DNA chemistry. The company has grown since then and its products have been widely used in over 100 countries. The company has a portfolio of over 400 qPCR detection kits and over 9000 research targets.[1]

Swine flu detection kit[edit]

During the Swine Flu pandemic in 2009, Primerdesign developed the world's first swine flu detection kit.[2][3] The kit which was designed within a fortnight is considered a breakthrough in the sector. The one step detection kit is designed to give results within two hours.[2] The first shipment of rapid result tests was dispatched to Mexico in April 2009 and is now being used in more than 30 countries across the globe.[2]

Horse meat scandal[edit]

Due to their extensive range of products, the company played a part in the 2013 meat adulteration scandal by being able to provide qPCR kits to quantitatively measure for horse meat in food.[4] Their kits were used throughout Ireland[5] as well as the UK.[6]


Among their product ranges are lines for:

  • Pathogen Detection kits
  • House-keeping Gene assays
  • Genomic DNA Detection kits
  • Real time PCR reagents
  • geNorm reference gene selection kits
  • Housekeeping gene selection kits
  • Biobank Control cDNA
  • High Resolution Melting analysis kits


Primerdesign has a worldwide presence, serving over 9,000 customers. Its core customer segments include academic institutions, pharmaceutical companies, independent diagnostic laboratories, hospitals, official government health agencies, and others.

Sponsorship program[edit]

In 2006, Primerdesign initiated a sponsorship program to reward meritorious PhD students and provide further assistance to the PCR component of their study.[7]

See also[edit]

Real-time polymerase chain reaction
High Resolution Melt


External links[edit]