Terms like disruptor, creator and entrepreneur could all be used as ways to describe Dermot Scanlon but akin to his alma mater, the native Cork man could certainly be called a changemaker given the impact his firm’s innovative diagnostic test solutions have had on changing gastroenteritis testing in clinical laboratories.
Dermot Scanlon graduated in 1985 with a BSc in Industrial Chemistry and in the years that followed, a wealth of experience would be harvested from medical device companies both at home and abroad. With his travels concluding after a two-year stint with a Dutch-based US multinational medical device company, Dermot, along with his wife Noreen, took the bravest of steps and founded Serosep Ltd in 1997 with the business initially being conducted from their own home in Limerick.
26 years later, Serosep’s innovative diagnostic test solutions have disrupted the market and changed the way Gastroenteritis is tested in clinical laboratories. EntericBio® is now the market leader in Ireland and the UK with many more markets adopting the test on a routine basis such as New Zealand and South Africa.
The company is currently manufacturing more than 1.25 million tests at its state-of-the-art 35,000-square-foot facility located in Annacotty Business Park. The company’s operations include research and development, design, manufacturing, and sales and marketing of its branded products, to over 35 countries worldwide and Serosep currently employs 115 people over four locations in Limerick, Crawley, South Carolina, USA and Johannesburg.
Through his years of experience gained, Dermot and his team knew the importance of pivoting in times of need and in 2020 Serosep pivoted its business by developing RespiBio® a PCR test for Covid 19. This diagnostic test was developed in record time by the firm’s committed scientists and ensured continuous vital supplies of test kits, to several hospitals, both in Ireland and the UK during the early part of the pandemic. These scientific achievements were acknowledged in Serosep being awarded “Medtech Company of the Year” in 2021, competing with over 450 companies in Ireland, for this accolade.
Serosep has built close ties with the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Centre for Pharmaceuticals (SSPC) hosted at the Bernal Institute in UL by collaborating on a project to optimise the time on a freeze-drying process for bacterial and viral test kit manufacture. Serosep is proud of its association with University of Limerick, being a long-term annual sponsor of the Industrial Biochemistry awards and has also been one of a group of local sponsors for a “Periodic Table of Elements” located in the School of Sciences at UL in April this year.
Serosep under Dermot’s stewardship recognises the importance of its employees and has created a work environment that supports their personal and professional development where they strive to create strategies and supports that enhance the health and wellness of employees, recognising its responsibility to invest in their wellbeing.
The company encourages employee involvement in community initiatives, supporting causes such as cancer research, aid for local causes like Limerick Suicide Watch, international disaster relief funds and a host of sponsorships for various community-led clubs such as soccer, GAA, rugby and basketball.
Family culture is keenly embraced at Serosep and this was recognised in 2019 when the firm won “Best SME Family Friendly” award, as well as being recognised as one of Ireland’s best workplaces in “The Great Place to Work Awards 2022 and 2023 and was also presented by the Limerick Chamber with the “Best SME Business” contribution to the region award in 2022.
Positive stewardship and leadership are reflected in those around you and this has been maintained by Dermot and his wife at their Limerick-based firm.
Dermot and Noreen have three sons, Diarmuid, Connall and Killian and despite it being 38 years ago since graduating, Dermot and his fellow graduates continue to enjoy each other’s company and make a habit of meeting with some regularity. Amid spending time with family and friends in West Clare, or coaching underage soccer, Dermot recently returned to running and was delighted to have completed a mini-marathon with his son.
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