About Primerdesign

The best custom qPCR assay development service in the World

Primerdesign is focused on the design, manufacture, validation and supply of real-time PCR kits and reagents.  The company was founded by Rob and Jim in 2005 within Southampton University's School of Medicine.  Since that humble beginning the company has gone from strength to strength – Thousands of customers in over 100 countries around the World and fantastic reputation in the field. Primerdesign now consists of a substantial team of friendly experts, all dedicated to giving our customers a fantastic experience and all thriving in a highly professional environment.

In May 2016 Primerdesign became part of the Novacyt SA group.  This joining of forces allows Primerdesign to accelerate their growth plans and begins an exciting new chapter for the team.  If you're a customer you can expect this milestone to lead to even better products and an even bigger, better team to support you.

Primerdesign HQ


Rob Powell PhD, Founder
Primerdesign was established on Dr Rob Powell’s 10 years of research experience, including human virus diseases and asthma genetics. Rob acted as a consultant to the life science industry on matters relating to gene quantification for several years prior to the foundation of the company. Rob was Primerdesign’s Director of Research and Development up until the beginning of 2018. He now acts on an advisory basis for Primerdesign, splitting his time between Primerdesign HQ and his conservation farm in Dorset.

Jim Wicks PhD, Founder
Dr Jim Wicks has a PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology and has been with the company since day one.  As Managing Director, Jim played a pivotal role in the success of Primerdesign – growing it from a small start-up to a multi-million pound turnover company employing more than 50 people. In early 2018 Jim took a step back to focus on other projects, but remains working with Primerdesign as Strategic Director.

Paul Eros, Managing Director
Paul Eros joined Primerdesign in late 2017 as Commercial Director. Quickly it became apparent that his experience and leadership skills would lend themselves perfectly to the role of Managing Director; he took over this position from Dr Jim Wicks in early 2018. With over 30 years’ experience in the molecular diagnostics, biotech and life science industries, Paul is perfectly placed to help Primerdesign to achieve its company goals. He has held a number of senior management and board level positions across marketing, sales and operations.

Professor Tom Brown (Advisor)
Tom Brown is Professor of Chemical Biology at Southampton University and is the author of over 300 publications and patents in the nucleic acids field. Tom was the founder and head of Oswel Research Products from 1992 to 2001 and founded ATDBio in 2005.

Dr. Jo Vandesompele (Advisor)
Jo Vandesompele currently works at the Centre for Medical Genetics in Ghent University, Belgium. He has co-authored over 50 papers in international peer-reviewed journals. He is a key opinion leader in the development methodology and technology in the field of real-time quantitative PCR. Jo has developed bio-informatic tools, such as geNorm, qBase, RTPrimerDB, arrayCGHbase, methBLAST, methPrimerDB, PGE, and Neuroblastome Gene Server.