A HIGH tech company established ten years ago as a two-man operation at Durham University has won a major international order to supply potentially-life-saving health detection systems. 

A month after it floated on the stock market, Kromek based at NetPark, near Sedgefield, County Durham has agreed deals to make  medical imaging chips which will help in the treatment and early diagnosis of conditions such as cancer and oesteoperosis.

The firm has received an order for $990,000 (£734,000) to supply its Cadmium Zinc Telluride (CZT) detectors with the majority of the order expected to be completed and delivered in the current financial year.

In addition, Kromek confirmed that it had received a $1m first year exclusivity payment from a leading client in the medical scanning sector.

Arnab Basu, the chief executive of Kromek, said: "We are delighted to report progress in some of the key markets on which we focus, soon after our successful listing on AIM (Alternative Investment Market) just a few weeks ago.

"Kromek has shown its ability to convert opportunities into contracted orders, which demonstrates the strength of our technology and strategy in these fields. We look forward to developing further our relationships with global Original Equipment Manufacturers as we continue to grow.

"We have proven multispectral detection and imaging technologies which we are working hard to help combine into medical imaging systems for our global customers, providing them with a means to improve diagnostic capabilities resulting in better clinical outcomes."

The firm is best known for pioneering an airport scanner that can identify liquids in bottles, including explosives, alcohol and narcotics, without opening them, in less than 20 seconds. The technology is used by five airports, including Durham Tees Valley, near Darlington, and is expected to be taken on by many more when new EU security regulations come into effect on January 31.

Kromek employs about half of its 100 staff in County Durham and has sites in California and Pennsylvania after acquiring two US companies, as well as a sales office in Germany.

The ambitious business is confident of securing more orders across the world in the medical imaging and nuclear detection sectors.