Peter Keeling standing down as Diaceutics chief executive after 18 years

Peter Keeling, founder and chief executive of Diaceutics, who is standing down after 18 years
Peter Keeling, founder and chief executive of Diaceutics, who is standing down after 18 years

THE chief executive of Belfast-based pharmaceutical technology and solutions provider Diaceutics is standing down after 18 years at the helm.

Peter Keeling (63), who co-founded the company in 2005, informed the board of his intention to step back from January 1 next.

But he will continue to serve on the board as an executive director to support the transition of a successor - who will be his nephew Ryan Keeling (40).

Peter has led the growth of the company from a niche consulting service provider to a high margin, high growth diagnostic commercialisation platform, and he was also at the forefront of the company's public listing in 2019.

Diaceutics now serves 21 of the top 30 global pharma companies, with 161 people across Europe and North America and a network of 900 laboratories worldwide.

Notice of his departure came as interim results for the six months to June 30 saw Diaceutics report a 32 per cent growth in revenue to £9.9 million, improved visibility of revenues, with 47 per cent now recurring, and significant order book growth of 43 per cent to £24.1 million, providing excellent forward visibility.

Peter said: "After 18 years building and shaping the business, I believe Diaceutics has established an important position with our customers as a thought leader in the global precision medicine market.

"My decision to hand over at this time is made easy knowing how well the company is now positioned for growth with the talent and motivation of the exceptional team in the business today.

"Having worked closely with Ryan for more than 17 years, I have complete confidence in him to lead Diaceutics successfully into the future, and I look forward to supporting him and the wider team."

He added: "It has been my great privilege to work alongside so many leaders from pharmaceutical and laboratory companies, as we built a business which is increasing the treatment opportunities for patients every single day.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Diaceutics for creating the important business that we are today; and for the support they have provided to me personally throughout these foundational years in Diaceutics.”

When he vacates the CEO seat, Peter’s primary focus will be to accelerate the corporate development of Diaceutics, which will further strengthen its leadership position as the primary partner for pharmaceutical companies as they seek to commercialise the new generation of precision therapeutics across a range of disease areas over the coming months and years.

Ryan Keeling, current chief innovation officer and who will be CEO designate until January, joined Diaceutics in 2006 and became a member of the board on IPO in 2019.

He is an expert in the commercialisation of diagnostics and associated technology, with over 17 years’ experience in the field.

Ryan is also the architect of the company’s data capabilities and DXRX platform, leading the development and commercialisation of the group’s technology, including its proprietary data lake.

Company chair Deborah Davis said: "Peter has been instrumental in making Diaceutics what it is today. Since co-founding the business 18 years ago, he has led the evolution of our company.

"For nearly two decades, he has been a central force behind Diaceutics’ performance and growth and it is reassuring that we will retain the benefit of his wisdom and industry thought leadership at board level in the future."

On his successor she added: "Ryan has been a core part of our growth and development since he joined the company in 2006 and is an exceptionally capable leader. I look forward to continuing to work with him as we realise the full scale of the market opportunity, helping our pharma customers identify patients in need of therapy.”

Keeling's departure will be the second this year by the head of a listed technology company in Northern Ireland.

It follows Brendan Mooney moving away from CEO at Kainos, with his successor Russell Sloan taking over in mid-September.