Cheshire lab at centre of national drive to increase Coronavirus testing

Alderley Park

A laboratory in Cheshire is at the centre of the national drive to increase Coronavirus testing across the UK.

The government has announced the establishment of large scale national COVID-19 hub laboratories across the UK.

The initial laboratories have been established in Cheshire, Milton Keynes and Glasgow.

Medicines Discovery Catapult is part of this national effort, co-ordinating the establishment of these new hub laboratories.

It is also responsible for the delivery of one of the hubs, located in new dedicated laboratories at Bruntwood SciTech’s Alderley Park in Cheshire.

The hubs will deliver medical science at an unprecedented scale.

The Milton Keynes facility is already active; allowing uninfected frontline NHS staff to return to work as soon as possible.

The hub at Alderley Park has been created at unprecedented pace and opens its doors next week.

To achieve this Medicines Discovery Catapult is working closely with experts from the regional pharmaceutical, academic and clinical community.

Universities, research institutes and commercial companies across Britain are lending their testing equipment to the new hub laboratories. Equipment already in use for COVID-19 testing or other vital work is not being taken for these new laboratories.

Samples will be delivered to the hub laboratories from across the nation for analysis. Skilled volunteers from across the scientific community, with the relevant expertise and experience needed to carry out COVID-19 testing, will process samples around the clock.

Professor Chris Molloy, chief executive Officer at Medicines Discovery Catapult said: “At a time of national challenge, harnessing the great strengths of the UK’s businesses, universities, the NHS and research institutes requires expert teams working to a common purpose.

“The immense effort by so many partners to establish these national hub laboratories will provide vital information on the level of COVID-19 infection across the UK. It also demonstrates innovative medical science being delivered at scale.

“At Medicines Discovery Catapult, we are well placed to lead the establishment of the hub laboratory at Alderley park bringing together the scientific, clinical and industrial know-how from many organisations – engaging a skilled local workforce – to support increased capacity COVID-19 testing.”

Dr Kath Mackay, managing director of Bruntwood SciTech – Alderley Park added: “At Alderley Park we have the infrastructure and network of expertise that the Medicines Discovery Catapult needs to launch this critical facility, and we are proud to be working together with the wider science community on such a vitally important project.”

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