ONE of the founders and former chief executive of Immunodiagnostic Systems (IDS) has been voted off the medical testing kit maker’s board after more than three decades at its helm.
Dr Roger Duggan who, until last Friday’s annual general meeting, was the Boldon-based company’s deputy chairman and business development director, has now left the business. At the AGM, almost 54% voted against his reappointment.
Duggan joined RIA (UK), the forerunner to IDS, in 1981. He served as the company’s development scientist, laboratory manager and scientific director and became managing director after the 1996 management buy-out.
IDS floated in 2004, then acquired Nordic Bioscience Diagnostics and Biocode-Hycel in 2007, and Duggan became group CEO.
He moved across to become deputy chairman and business development director in 2010 as part of the company’s succession plan.
IDS non-executive chairman, Dr Anthony Martin, said: “I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Roger for his contribution to IDS over more than 30 years.
“He has held a variety of senior roles within the company since 1981, from helping found the business and has helped build IDS from a small domestic company to an international diagnostics business.”
Duggan’s departure is the latest in a number of shake-ups at the top of the business, which is best known for its manual and automated vitamin D tests.
Just a month ago, finance director Gerard Murray announced he would be leaving the business in February next year to “pursue other business opportunities”.
And the new chief executive Patrik Dahlen has only been with the business since the start of July. He replaced Duggan’s successor, Ian Cookson, in the role. The changes come as IDS struggles to meet the challenge posed by competitors in its market.
Last Friday, it said annual revenues are likely to dip by between 7% and 10%, in what would be the first decline since it joined the Alternative Investment Market eight years ago.
The statement came after the business forecast a rise in revenues when it announced its annual results last June, which increased by £3.5m to £53.5m for the year to the end of March.
However, IDS said the expected increase in income from its flagship IDS-iSYS testing machine was not happening quickly enough to offset the “ongoing manual revenue decline in the current financial year”.
The value of the Boldon company’s shares have slipped by more than 70% this year to around 260p as it struggles to compete on cost with tests being developed by rival companies.