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Industry responds to call to arms to build British diagnostics industry at scale

Yokel

LE
Industry responds to call to arms to build British diagnostics industry at scale

New developments from businesses working to scale-up testing programmes include:
  • a new testing laboratory to be set up by AstraZeneca, GSK and Cambridge University to be used for screening for coronavirus testing, with the aim of carrying out 30,000 tests a day by the start of May. The companies are exploring the use of alternative chemical reagents for test kits in order to help overcome current supply shortages
  • AstraZeneca and GSK are also providing scientific and technical expertise in automation and robotics to support the government’s new national testing centres
  • Thermo Fisher has committed to continuing to supply the UK with testing kits to test for the presence of the coronavirus virus and is working to scale up manufacturing at its existing UK sites
  • Oxford Nanopore’s sequencing technology is being used worldwide, including in multiple labs in the UK, to rapidly sequence the coronavirus and other pathogens that may also be present in a sample. This is supporting epidemiology and scientific understanding of coronavirus. The company’s research and development team is also exploring advanced test options using its DNA/RNA sequencing technology
 

Yokel

LE
Help the Government increase Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing capacity

On 2 April 2020, the government announced its new national testing strategy, including a commitment to deliver 100,000 tests a day by the end of the month, and many more beyond that. We want industry to help us in meeting that challenge.

Over time, we want to build a large diagnostic industry in this country able to tackle this challenge in the longer term. We’re encouraging the innovative minds of British academia and industry – large and small, across sectors – to dedicate their talents, ambitions and skills to that task.

What is needed

In the short term, we must be focused on the challenge at hand, so we want to hear specifically from companies who can manufacture and supply:

  • consumables and equipment for coronavirus testing, in particular test kits (such as nose and throat swabs, transport media and vials) and RNA extraction lab consumables (such as reagents, plates and pipette tips)
  • new or existing types of coronavirus tests for antigens or antibodies. These must meet the requirement set out by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). MHRA has published the specification for the required antibody test
We also want to hear from public or private sector organisations that can offer laboratory capacity. We have published further guidance about the criteria laboratories need to meet to partner with a local NHS trust.

We have teams of experts evaluating all the offers received. To ensure that their time is used most effectively, please use the forms below, which ensure your offers meet our requirements and can be directed to the right expert group. We will contact you as quickly as possible if your support is needed.
 
Another COVID-19 thread hiding in current affairs
 
Another COVID-19 thread hiding in current affairs
Thanks for dumb, but as only two people have added to the thread, I think I'm right.
I like your normal posts
 

Yokel

LE
We live in very strange times. Anything that brings this request by Government to the attention of companies who do anything related to medical testing, supplying chemicals, or laboratory equipment, has to be a good thing.

@armchair_jihad considered this to be the appropriate place to discuss ventilator production.
 

Yokel

LE
The Government request for help from business was far more wide ranging:

The support needed includes things like:
  • medical testing equipment
  • medical equipment design
  • protective equipment for healthcare workers, such as masks, gowns and sanitiser
  • hotel rooms
  • transport and logistics, for moving goods or people
  • manufacturing equipment
  • warehouse or office space, for medical use or storage
  • expertise or support on IT, manufacturing, construction, project management, procurement or engineering
  • social care or childcare
 

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