The Company

NorthGene™ specialises in human identification services including DNA paternity and relationship testing for peace of mind, legal, immigration and forensic cases. We also provide a Drug and Alcohol testing, Cell Line Authentication and Sample Identification service.


NorthGene™ was founded in 1994 with a vision to bring genetics into everyday life.

Paternity testing for the Courts was first introduced in 1970 in Newcastle. Subsequently, the Human Genetics Commission created a subgroup on paternity testing which gave rise to the Code of Conduct and the recognition of service by the Lord Chancellor’s office. This legislated that all legal and immigration tests must be conducted by a Ministry of Justice accredited laboratory, such as NorthGene™, and in accordance with strict chain of custody requirements.

NorthGene™ also offers peace of mind testing. Although the results from this type of test are completely accurate they cannot be used for any legal purpose. It is, therefore, important to think about the type of test you require as, should you need the result for any legal reason in the future such as a change to a child’s birth certificate, the testing process will have to be done again as a legal case. If you are unsure which type of test you require please contact our Client Liaison Officers.

At NorthGene™ we pride ourselves on offering a friendly, efficient and fully confidential service and we are dedicated to supporting our clients through what we understand can be a very difficult and emotional process.

Our clients

A wide variety of clients use our DNA testing services Individuals, the legal profession, health authorities, academics and commercial companies worldwide all use our DNA, Drug and Alcohol testing services. We can help anyone who would like a DNA relationship test – whether they need it for legal, court ordered or immigration purposes or simply for their own peace of mind. We work for a wide variety of clients from families and individuals to legal professionals and social workers acting on their behalf. We also perform work on pathology samples for coroners wanting to establish a relationship for the purposes of body identification. We work in partnership with the health profession and are frequently contacted by healthcare professionals for our advice, expertise and discretion regarding difficult cases. NorthGene™ also work with academic institutions providing cell line authentication services.

Responsible and ethical testing

NorthGene™ takes the responsibility of offering a relationship testing service very seriously.

In compliance with the Human Tissue Act 2004 no DNA test will be carried out without the consent of each person involved or, in the case of a child, the consent of someone with parental responsibility.

In most cases the person with parental responsibility is the mother, NorthGene™ do not carry out DNA tests without the consent of the mother unless the father has parental responsibility. The most common ways in which a father may have parental responsibility is if he is named on the birth certificate of the child born after 1st December 2003 or he was married to the mother of the child at the time of birth. A parental responsibility order can also be obtained from the courts.

Senior Management Team

Nick Ash Chief Executive Officer

Nick Ash
Chief Executive Officer

Nick is an experienced CEO with over 20 years’ experience in public listed and private companies operating internationally across the life sciences, healthcare diagnostic and biotechnology industries.

Prior to joining Biofortuna, Nick was CEO of Source BioScience plc, the Main Market-listed healthcare diagnostics and genomic services business, where he established operations in the US and Europe, growing revenues five fold.

Nick holds a PhD in Mycology and is a Chartered Accountant, qualifying with KPMG. Nick is also Chairman of Epistem Limited, the pre-clinical and clinical development CRO.


Nick Leaves Chief Operating Officer

Nick Leaves
Chief Operating Officer

Nick is an experienced Chief Operating Officer in the life sciences and healthcare diagnostic sectors.

Prior to joining Biofortuna, Nick was COO of Source BioScience plc, expanding the laboratory infrastructure from a single site in the UK to ten facilities worldwide. Before Source BioScience, Nick worked for over ten years in complex genetics and genomics, initially at Oxford University and then for the MRC at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Centre, subsequently Geneservice.

Nick qualified as a microbiologist and worked in the NHS, completing a PhD on the molecular methods used to characterise outbreaks of bacterial meningitis.


Paul Williams Head of Sales

Paul Williams
Head of Sales

Paul is an experienced Sales Manager with over 15 years’ commercial experience gained in a range of highly competitive industries.

Prior to joining Biofortuna, Paul spent 5 years at BBI Solutions, the IVD reagents and contract development business before moving onto Strategic Sales at Scapa Healthcare.

Paul is currently undertaking his MBA Global with the University of Derby.


Lee Walker Head of Technical Services

Lee Walker
Head of Technical Services

Lee has over 25 years of technical and operational leadership experience working in large multi-national and start up organisations within the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device sectors.

Lee has led the development of a wide array of CE and FDA approved molecular and Immuno-chemical IVD devices and assays, some with annual sales revenues of >£100M. Specializing in reagent deposition and stabilisation, assay development and transfer to manufacture.

Lee holds a BSc and MPhil in Biochemistry and is black-belt trained in Lean and Six-sigma.


The Lab Team

Meet our highly trained and professional Laboratory Team. They possess a wide-ranging skill set, with backgrounds in genetics, forensic biology, histopathology, clinical science and quality control.

Their collective experience and knowledge allows them to work with a variety of sample types and deliver accurate and timely results for even the most difficult cases. The laboratory is accredited to ISO 17025 standards.

As they work closely with our Client Liaison Team, any scientific queries can be quickly and confidently answered, and the Lab Team fully understand any complexities of the cases they are working on.

If you would like more information about our testing capabilities, or have a challenging case for us, please call our Client Liaison Team on 0191 233 1414.

The Client Liaison Team

Meet our friendly and professional Client Liaison Team. With over 20 years experience in identity testing, they offer support and practical guidance to individuals and families, family law solicitors, social workers and Embassies.

Our team have experience in a wide range of cases. They understand that undergoing identity testing can be a difficult time for you and your family, and will always act in your best interest.

Our Client Liaison Team manage your case from beginning to end. As they work alongside our Lab Team in a shared office and speak directly with all parties involved, they are best placed to quickly, confidently and confidentially answer any questions you may have.

If you would like more information on the services we offer, please give us a call on 0191 233 1414.