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British firm to add 20 jobs in Mass.

By Kaivan Mangouri
June 2, 2011

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A British company that provides research and consulting services to life science companies will expand in Massachusetts, adding 20 jobs within 18 months.

Sagentia Ltd., of Cambridge, England, said Governor Deval Patrick’s April trade mission to the United Kingdom convinced it to expand in Cambridge, Mass., where it currently has five workers. Patrick met with Sagentia’s chief executive, Brent Hudson, during the trip.

Sagentia unveiled its expansion at a State House forum on commerce. The United Kingdom was the state’s leading export market in 2010, according to the nonprofit World Institute for Strategic Economic Research.

Sagentia began operations in Massachusetts in 2010 — one of the many foreign companies seeking to tap Greater Boston’s universities and skilled workforce, said Susan Windham-Bannister, president of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. The center oversees the state’s $1 billion incentive program to expand life sciences.

US operations, concentrated in New England, accounted for about half of Sagentia’s $34 million in revenue last year. Its clients include pharmaceutical giants such as Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, as well as the start-up T2 Biosystems, a medical diagnostics company in Lexington.