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Company Profile

Glycosynth is an independent company and the only manufacturer worldwide that is entirely dedicated to the production of enzyme substrates. We currently manufacture over 150 substrates at our facility in the North-West of England. Our customers include leading diagnostic companies, hospitals and researchers worldwide.

During three decades of successful operation, we have gained an extensive knowledge in the synthesis of enzyme substrates. Beginning our production with substrates based on the classic chromogens and fluorogens such as 4-methylumbelliferyls (MUG, MUP) and nitrophenyls (ONPG, PNP-glucuronide), we quickly also commenced manufacture of X-substrates (X-Gal, BCIG) as well as introducing our own ranges of new halogenated indoxyl glycosides (for example RoseTM-glucuronide, Blue-Gal). Over the years, our continued commitment to research has enabled us to offer further novel products, including chromogenic ribofuranosides and other patented substrates based on chromogenic chelators such as catechol and DHN.

We manufacture enzyme substrates suitable for the detection of many different types of glycosidase-activity, as well as substrates for the determination of phosphatase and esterase. Several substrates for aminopeptidase-activity are also included in our range.

Glycosynth first achieved ISO certification in 1996 and currently holds the ISO 9001:2015 certification.

As manufacturers, we can offer bespoke pack sizes to suit individual needs. Our standard small packs are usually available from stock and are typically despatched within one working day from receipt of order.

Please contact us for quotations on bulk quantities, alternative pack sizes, or for your specific requirements.


The Leadership Team

Dr Hayley Turner Managing Director

Hayley graduated from Salford University in 2004 with a Masters degree in Medicinal Chemistry. During her industrial placement year at GSK in Stevenage, she worked on the synthesis of new compounds of pharmaceutical interest. After joining Glycosynth and initially working as an R&D Chemist, she took on the position of Operations Manager. While still fulfilling this full-time role, Hayley embarked on a PhD to further increase her knowledge of substrates. Her thesis, entitled ‘Synthesis and evaluation of novel chromogenic enzyme substrates as reagents in diagnostic microbiology’, was performed under the supervision of Prof. Steven Stanforth at the University of Northumbria and Prof. John Perry at Freeman Hospital NHS Trust, Newcastle Upon Tyne. Hayley was appointed Managing Director of Glycosynth in 2013. She is the co-inventor of two patents on novel chromogenic substrates.

Christopher Turner Sales and Purchasing Director

Christopher had spent most of his career in sales before joining Glycosynth in 2009 as Sales Director. Over time, Christopher’s role has expanded and he is now responsible for sourcing key raw materials as well as bulk sales and customer service.
Hayley and Christopher have two young children who occupy what little spare time they have. 

Together, Hayley and Christopher are mainly responsible for managing the smooth day to day running of Glycosynth.

Dr Mike Burton Director

Mike founded Glycosynth together with his wife Jean in 1991. He began his industrial career at ICI in Runcorn before graduating from Loughborough University with a BSc in Chemistry. This was followed by a PhD in Synthetic Organic Chemistry under Prof. Ken Bentley and Dr Barrie Uff in the field of morphine alkaloids. He went on to do research in organo-metallic chemistry at the Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles (ICSN) at Gif-sur-Yvette, France, working in the groups of Dr Hugh Felkin and Dr Charles Giannotti. Later, at the Saclay Nuclear Research Centre, he worked in Dr Gerard Folcher’s group. Mike then conducted research on pyrrolizidine alkaloids with Prof. David Robins at Glasgow University before returning to industry at Genzyme. It was in 1985, while working at Genzyme’s HQ at Kneeland Street in Boston, that Mike first began to develop his interest in enzyme substrates. He is the co-author of 10 chemistry peer-reviewed publications as well as having several patents in the field of enzyme substrates. Mike now concentrates on growing Glycosynth’s IP portfolio.

Jean Burton Director

Jean began her career in legal services and, after founding Glycosynth with Mike, she was responsible for running the office as well as order fulfilment.
Mike and Jean have three grown up children who have careers in IT and teaching.

The four directors; Hayley, Christopher, Jean and Mike, work closely together on any major decisions affecting the direction of the Company.

Lee Robinson Customer Services Manager

Lee has a background in customer services and joined Glycosynth in 2008 as an assistant on catalogue sales. She progressed to a management role and took the position of Customer Services Manager in 2013. Lee has the overall responsibility for order processing and ensures the timely despatch of orders. She also handles any after-sales customer requests or enquiries.

Ellen Atkinson Operations Manager

Ellen graduated from Manchester University in June 2010 with a Masters degree in Chemistry and joined Glycosynth as a Research Chemist. In this position Ellen developed her knowledge and experience of substrate synthesis, contributing several new additions to Glycosynth’s product portfolio. As well as now being Glycosynth’s senior analyst, Ellen took over the role of Operations Manager in 2016.

Roddy Butterfield Production Manager

Roddy is a graduate of Liverpool John Moores University and joined Glycosynth in 2003 as a chemist. After progressing via the role of Senior Production Chemist, Roddy was appointed our Production Manager in 2021. His main responsibilities concern the manufacture of our enzyme substrates that are produced in bulk.


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Glycosynth Limited
14 Craven Court, Winwick Quay, Warrington, Cheshire. WA2 8QU England
Tel : 01925 575075       Fax : 01925 575121