A €8.6m EU funded cross-border Centre for Personalised Medicine that will improve clinical decision making and patient safety for dementia, diabetes, cardiovascular, acute kidney injury and emergency surgery has been officially launched.
Funded by the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), the Centre for Personalised Medicine brings together 14 academic, healthcare provider and enterprise partner organisations, including Randox Laboratories, to work together to deliver practical solutions to clinicians to ensure that patients get the right treatment at the right time.
Personalised medicine moves away from the ‘one size, fits all’ approach, using state of the art genomics testing, technology and computing and intelligence systems to deliver a more targeted approach.
Lead investigator of the Centre, Professor Tony Bjourson, Professor of Genomics at Ulster University and Director of the Northern Ireland Centre for Stratified Medicine said:
“The Centre for Personalised Medicine will bring personalised medicine approaches to five of the most prevalent disease areas to improve the care and treatment of patients in Northern Ireland, the border region of Ireland and Western Scotland. This collaboration extends partnership working to key clinicians in the health sector ensuring that we address real world issues across the five disease areas.”
Dr Kenneth Martin, Senior R&D Scientist at Randox Laboratories, explained Randox’s role in the Centre for Personalised Medicine;
“Our highly committed R&D programme here at Randox means that we have more than 490 new tests currently in development – more than any other diagnostics company – across a range of pressing health challenges, including dementia, cardio-metabolic syndrome and renal disease. These tests, developed on our patented Biochip Array Technology which can conduct multiple patient tests simultaneously, can work to identify patients who will benefit from tailored therapeutics for enhanced efficacy. The CPM project will use Randox Arrays in four of the five research clusters in the project to determine how the information they provide can benefit clinical decision making. We aim to provide clinicians with the tools they need to make more accurate and better-informed decisions for their patients. This means that countermeasures can be taken at the earliest possible opportunity, when treatment is most likely to succeed.”
Welcoming the project Gina McIntyre, CEO of the Special EU Programmes Body, said:
“This project reflects one of the core objectives of the INTERREG VA Programme, to improve access to healthcare services for thousands of citizens. It has great potential as it will bring together a diverse range of cross-border partners to significantly improve clinical decision-making, and personalised treatment approaches, in the fight against five of the most common diseases.”
Match-funding for this project has been provided by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation in Ireland and the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland.
For more information on the Centre for Personalised Medicine please contact the Randox PR team on 028 9442 2413 or by emailing email@example.com
The Evidence Investigator analyser is based on the award-winning Biochip Array Technology (BAT). Biochip Array Technology is a multi-analyte testing platform allowing the simultaneous quantitative or qualitative detection of a wide range of analytes from a single sample.
The Evidence Investigator is a semi-automated benchtop analyser which is tailored for the areas of research, forensic, clinical, molecular and veterinary testing. The key feature is the fast turn-around time the Evidence Investigator can process up to 44 results from a single sample, with a maximum throughput of up to 2375 tests per hour. The Evidence Investigator saves time because it will carry out multiplex testing which will allow multiple tests to be carried out from a single patient sample which in return will save time and resources. The machine is more suitable for medium throughput laboratories.
The technology offers a wide-ranging and diverse test menu which will benefit the research areas immunology, metabolic, Sport & Exercise, oncology and cardiovascular. Randox Research provides the Evidence Investigator to the five research areas to help their research become more efficient, cost effective and accurate.
Randox works extremely hard with their research and development, over 16% of turnover is reinvested in R&D. The current collaboration Randox works along with are Royal Victoria Hospital, Queen’s University Belfast and Cambridge University.
Randox Biosciences are dedicated to assisting research projects to completion and will make available the technology to ensure the universities receive highly accurate results for their research. Randox creates their products in-house therefore provides the flexibility of the research project. Randox can provide the university a full range of arrays, biomarkers and analysers to meet their requirements of the research.
Within Cardiovascular Research, Randox offer a comprehensive menu of cytokines. The combination of highly specific antibodies and advanced chemistries enables cytokines, cytokine receptors and growth factors to be detected simultaneously in a single sample, providing valuable information relating to each cytokine under test and possible associations between cytokines in each sample which will benefit the research. Randox offer excellent tools for universities and hospitals researchers such as routine and novel assays and can provide research analysers such as the Evidence Investigator which is suitable for medium sized laboratory.
Oncology Research has 20 biomarkers that can be custom-made to be used on the Biochip. Randox Biosciences offers a wide and extensive test menu to researchers to enable the specific product tailored to meet their clinical trail requirements.
Metabolic & Nutrition Research is another area Randox offers a wide-ranging range of tests specifically directed to Metabolic and Nutrition Research. Randox offers reagents and arrays on the award-winning Biochip Array Technology.
For more information on our Research areas and the tests that we can provide, contact us at – Info@RandoxBiosciences.com
Today is World Mental Health Day and Randox is getting involved to raise money for our two charity partners – AWARE NI and Ulster University’s Mind Your Mood.
Colleagues across Randox sites in Northern Ireland have been donning yellow in order to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing and also to raise funds for these two fantastic causes.
Wear Yellow Wednesday is part of a series of events taking place at Randox as part of Randox Mental Health & Wellbeing Month – an initiative which encourages staff to take care of their mental wellbeing and seeks to support the work of AWARE NI and Mind Your Mood.
The month also entails a charity ‘freefall’ abseil from the dome of Victoria Square when 14 brave Randox colleagues will scale the heights to raise money for AWARE NI. You can visit their JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/teams/RANDOXAWARE
AWARE NI is the depression charity for Northern Ireland. They have two offices in both Belfast and Derry. AWARE has an established network of 25 support groups in rural and urban areas across the country which are run by trained volunteers. AWARE also deliver mental health and well being programmes into communities, schools, colleges, universities and workplaces.
Ulster University’s Mind Your Mood initiative is a service managed by Student Support but designed and delivered by students to have lived experiences of mental health illness. Mind Your Mood was created to help build resilience to avoid mental illness, provide support at the earliest point to avoid progression of mental illness to something more serious and threatening and to build resilience and awareness and provide support to help students with already-diagnosed mental illness.
For more information on Randox Mental Health & Wellbeing Month please contact the Randox PR team on 028 9442 2413 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
This month is Mental Health & Wellbeing Month at Randox. Throughout the month, we’ll be highlighting how you can take care of your mental health and wellbeing to not only improve mood and self-esteem but also to promote the many physical health benefits associated with good mental healthcare.
Mental wellbeing is as important as physical health. For complete health and wellbeing, both must be given equal attention as one affects the other. When you’re in pain, your mental health will also be under strain as mindset plays a role in our pain threshold capacity. When you are under mental stress, your physical health can also pay the price. Such is the case for anxiety sufferers who quite often report stomach and bowel issues as a consequence.
At Randox Health our health checks are the most advanced in the world, helping to extend your life through the world’s most advanced technology. Testing up to 350 different markers of irregularity, deficiency and disease in the body, we can give you the most comprehensive picture of your overall health and wellbeing available.
Mental health issues, such as low mood, anxiety and depression, can sometimes be aggravated by certain deficiencies such as a shortage of vitamin D. While supplements are unlikely to eradicate a serious mental health issue, they may help to improve symptoms and should be a first-resort before more advanced treatment, such as antidepressants, are prescribed.
At Randox Health, you can be sure of the most advanced testing – including the areas of vitamin and mineral levels. Mental health and physical health are deeply connected. Make sure you know all you can about your physical wellbeing in order to address your mental wellbeing in the most informed and comphrehensive manner.
Visit https://www.randoxhealth.com/ or call 0800 2545 130 to find out about Randox Health programmes available.
Flu is a contagious respiratory illness cause by influenza viruses that infect the throat, nose, and sometimes lungs. It can cause illness and sometimes death. Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent catching flu .
There are four types of seasonal flu, A, B, C, and D. Types A and B cause seasonal epidemics of disease. Illnesses range from severe to mild and can even result in death in high risk groups. High risk groups include, pregnant women, children under 5 years of age, the elderly, and people with chronic or immunosuppressive medical conditions .
Symptoms of Flu 
• Sudden fever (temperature above 38C)
• Feeling tired
• Sore throat
• Loss of appetite
• Chesty cough
A test to detect Influenza viruses can be used to determine whether a patient has the flu. A swab is taken from either the nose or back of the throat and sent for testing. Molecular assays can be used to detect genetic material of the virus . Molecular methods play an important role in the diagnosis and surveillance of influenza viruses. Molecular diagnostics allow timely and accurate detection of influenza and are already implemented in many laboratories. The combination of automated purification of nucleic acids with real-time PCR should enable even more rapid identification of viral pathogens such as influenza viruses in clinical material .
The spread of Flu
Flu season begins as early as October, reaches its peak in February, and ends in March. In the southern hemisphere, flu season falls between June and September. Wherever it’s cold, it’s flu season. This can be seen in Figure A below, which shows google searches for the term ‘flu’ for the last five years for USA (northern hemisphere) and Australia (southern hemisphere). It is obvious that flu is prevalent at different times in the northern and southern hemisphere.
However, it’s a common misconception that flu is caused by the cold. There are many theories as to why the flu season comes in winter :
1. People spend more time indoors, with windows closed, not getting fresh air.
2. A lack of Vitamin D and melatonin from reduced sunlight, weakening the immune system.
3. Influenza virus thrives in the cold, dry air of winter
Of course, there have been attempts to test these theories, but animals do not contract the virus like humans, so testing is difficult. A researcher named Peter Palese decided to test theory 3 after finding an old medical journal article that reported guinea pigs are infected and spread the flu like humans.
Figure A. Google Searches for ‘Flu’ in USA and Australia for the last 5 years 
Having set up cages with varying temperatures and relative humidity, he observed how they affected the spread of the flu virus. He found Influenza spread more effectively in cold, dry air .
A theory about why this is the case is associated with how the virus moves through the air. When someone breaths out, they release little virus-containing droplets in to the air. The droplet then begins to evaporate. A lower relative humidity means there is less water in the air, meaning there is more room in the air for additional moisture, allowing the droplets to evaporate. A higher humidity means the droplet can’t evaporate because there isn’t as much room for more moisture, and the virus is not suspended into the air .
Whatever the case, the fact remains: when winter comes around, the flu will follow.
You can avoid catching the flu by getting the flu shot, investing in a humidifier, keeping your hands clean, and limiting contact with those who are already ill. Immunity gained from vaccination decreases over time, so annual vaccination is recommended. Vaccines are most effective when they closely match viruses in circulation. The constantly evolving nature of Influenza viruses requires the WHO Global Surveillance and Response System to monitor influenza viruses around the world and update vaccinations accordingly.
Personal protective measures can be taken in addition to vaccination :
• Properly washing and drying the hands
• Covering the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing
• Self-isolation when showing symptoms of influenza
• Avoiding contact with sick people
• Avoiding touching the eyes, nose, and mouth
How Randox can Help
Randox offers molecular controls, calibrators, and EQA programmes for respiratory infection testing, which includes Influenza A and B, Adenovirus, Rhinovirus, and others.
Want to know more?
Contact us or visit our Qnostics page to learn more.
 “Key Facts About Influenza (Flu) | Seasonal Influenza (Flu) | CDC”, Cdc.gov, 2018. [Online]. Available: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm. [Accessed: 25- Sep- 2018].
 “Influenza (Seasonal)”, World Health Organization, 2018. [Online]. Available: http://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/influenza-(seasonal). [Accessed: 27- Sep- 2018].
 “Flu”, nhs.uk, 2018. [Online]. Available: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/flu/. [Accessed: 25- Sep- 2018].
 “Diagnosing Flu | Seasonal Influenza (Flu) | CDC”, Cdc.gov, 2018. [Online]. Available: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/testing.htm. [Accessed: 25- Sep- 2018].
 J. Ellis and M. Zambon, “Molecular diagnosis of influenza”, Reviews in Medical Virology, vol. 12, no. 6, pp. 375-389, 2002.
 “Google Trends”, Google.com, 2018. [Online]. Available: https://trends.google.com/trends/. [Accessed: 26- Sep- 2018].
 “The Reason for the Season: why flu strikes in winter – Science in the News”, Science in the News, 2014. [Online]. Available: http://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2014/the-reason-for-the-season-why-flu-strikes-in-winter/. [Accessed: 26- Sep- 2018].
 A. Lowen, S. Mubareka, J. Steel and P. Palese, “Influenza Virus Transmission Is Dependent on Relative Humidity and Temperature”, PLoS Pathogens, vol. 3, no. 10, p. e151, 2007.
 “Why Is There a Winter Flu Season?”, Popsci.com, 2013. [Online]. Available: https://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-01/fyi-why-winter-flu-season#page-5. [Accessed: 26- Sep- 2018].
October 2018 marks National Cholesterol Month, an entire month devoted to raising funds for the charity HEART UK, and raising awareness of the dangers of high cholesterol.
But how much do we actually know about cholesterol? Do we even know what it is?
Many people are confused about how cholesterol differs from fat, which is understandable, given that cholesterol is found in foods that are sometimes high in fat.
But cholesterol is actually a type of lipid, as is fat. Like fat, cholesterol is essential for a range of bodily functions, but unlike fat, cholesterol can’t be exercised off, sweated out or burned for energy.
The body does require a small amount of blood cholesterol to build the structure of cell membranes, and make hormones like oestrogen, testosterone and adrenal hormones.
It also helps your metabolism work efficiently. For example, cholesterol is essential for your body to produce vitamin D and bile acids to help you digest your food. It is carried in the blood by proteins, with which it combines to make lipoproteins.
The 2 main types of lipoprotein are:
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL) which carries cholesterol away from the cells and back to the liver, where it’s either broken down or passed out of the body as a waste product. For this reason, HDL is referred to as “good cholesterol”, and higher levels are better.
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) which carries cholesterol to the cells that need it. If there’s too much cholesterol for the cells to use, it can build up in the artery walls. For this reason, LDL is known as “bad cholesterol.”
This cholesterol in the body comes from two main sources: the liver and diet. The liver, other organs and other cells in your body product about 75-80% of the cholesterol in the blood, while our diet contributes to about 20-25% of our cholesterol levels.
Foods high in saturated fat which can ultimately increase cholesterol levels include butter, hard margarines, fatty meat and meat products such as sausages, full fat chees, milk, cream and yoghurt.
Eating these foods in excess can therefore lead to a high level of cholesterol in the blood, called hyperlipidaemia.
High cholesterol itself doesn’t cause any symptoms, but it does increase your risk of serious health conditions including cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke because it builds up in the artery walls, restricting the blood flow to your heart, brain, and the rest of the body.
Given its vital role in the body, the serious conditions it can cause should it get too high, and the fact that if high, it does not produce any symptoms, it is extremely important to regularly monitor your cholesterol through blood testing.
Randox offers a range of cholesterol tests to ensure that individuals with high cholesterol get the earliest and most accurate diagnosis. In fact, Randox is responsible for more than 15% of all cholesterol tests carried out across the globe. Randox are tackling the need for better cholesterol testing with our wide range of niche and high-performance assays including sdLDL Cholesterol, Lipoprotein (a) and HDL3 Cholesterol.
For more information about National Cholesterol Month, or cholesterol testing at Randox, please contact the Randox PR team by emailing email@example.com or phone 028 9442 2413
Biochip Array Technology
In 1992, Randox invested £180 million to create and introduce Biochip Array Technology (BAT) which converted laboratory testing. Randox came up with the innovation by recognising the major problem with traditional diagnosis. Within traditional diagnosis several tests are typically required which involves multiple blood draws from the patient, many visits to the hospital, increased reagent volume and increased time to diagnosis. Biochip Array Technology allows for the simultaneous quantitative or qualitative detection of a wide range of analytes from one single sample. Therefore, it is faster, cost saving and more effective leading to better clinical decisions. Today the technology (BAT) is used in countless laboratories worldwide and a range of three biochip analysers are now offered.
The main basis of the Biochip Array Technology
- 9x9mm biochip which acts as a solid phase reaction vessel.
- Each of the biochips are pre-coated with an array of discrete test regions (DTRs)
- One biochip per sample used to generate multiple results.
- Randox Biochips hold up to 49 tests.
- Based on chemiluminescent signal emitting light, without heat which results a chemical reaction.
The key features and benefits of the Biochip Array Technology
Highly accurate testing
- The biochip array technology provides high standard of accurate test results with CV’s <10%
- Multiplex analysis minimises analytical variation between the tests.
- Increased patient information available through testing multiple markers
- Patients receive their results quicker compared to the traditional diagnosis.
Reduced sample volume
- Reduced sample required therefore patients feel more at ease.
Wide test menu
- Wide test menu provides a variety for clients and allows flexibility.
- Multiple samples can be used on BAT which include the following; serum, plasma, whole blood, urine and many others which allows for flexibility in their testing
– The process reduces the amount of time spent on individual tests and associated laboratory costs
Biochip testing platforms
The Evidence Evolution is fully automated random-access biochip testing platform. The machine allows any test to perform at any time as it is a highly versatile analyser which can operate any workflow. It can receive 2640 tests per hour which means the machine has a fast turnaround time. As well as this, it allows multiple tests to be performed from a single sample which reduces time and resources spent on individual tests. The Evidence Evolution can be tailored to certain laboratory needs and have features including automatic start-up and shut down, relaxed testing capability and traceability of biochips. The equipment overall is made to be easy for the client to use as it includes customisable user settings and easy to follow result screens giving them the fast and accurate operations they would prefer.
The Evidence Analyser is the protein Biochip Array technology. Like the Evidence Evolution it is fully automated which is suitable for busy laboratories, hospitals, forensic and clinical toxicology. The machine is floor standing and can receive up to 3690 per hour. The machine has features such as easy to follow software and customisable user settings which gives laboratories the opportunity to receive fast and accurate results.
The Evidence Investigator is often used for research, clinical, forensic, molecular and veterinary testing. The machine is semi-automated and can combine immunoassay and molecular diagnostics on a single platform with protein and DNA biochips. This machine also has a quick turnaround time with the ability to achieve 2376 tests per hour with 44 analytes screened per biochip. The evidence investigator provides more tests on the test menu which allows variety.
The final platform is the Evidence MultiSTAT. The Evidence MultiSTAT is a fully-automated analyser which provides quality results. It is a simple and easy to use analyser which requires minimal training with only three steps to complete the process. The machine can provide multiplex testing yields up to 46 results in under ten minutes. It is ease-of-use for non-laboratory staff and provides full traceability of user action with password controlled software.
Randox Health Holywood is this week hosting a fundraising event for mental health charities AWARE NI and Ulster University’s Mind Your Mood to launch Randox’s Mental Health & Wellbeing Month throughout October.
Held on Saturday 6th October 2018, 10am – 12noon, the health check company’s coffee morning event will offer customers, visitors and the residents of Holywood the opportunity to call in, grab a tea or coffee, and sample some scones and sweet treats, all while helping to raise money for those who need it most.
By shining a light on mental health issues, Randox hopes to educate its staff on how to look after their mental health while also raising funds for its two official charity partners. The fundraising coffee morning launches a month of staff initiatives including a Wear Yellow for World Mental Health Day on Wednesday 10th October, a company-wide Bake Sale on Friday 26th October, and a freefall abseil from the dome of Victoria Square Belfast on Sunday 21st October.
Randox Founder and Managing Director, Dr Peter FitzGerald, commented;
“Every one of us has been touched either directly or indirectly by these issues and it’s something we at Randox wish to help to address. We have for example invested significantly in research that will determine how problems with the digestive system can affect your mood, sleep and stress levels. We hope that our partnerships not only help those affected by mental ill-health across Northern Ireland, but also empower our Randox staff to take care of their own mental well-being.”
AWARE NI is the depression charity for Northern Ireland with an established network of 23 support groups in rural and urban areas across the country, all run by trained volunteers. AWARE deliver mental health and wellbeing programmes in to communities, schools, colleges, universities and workplaces while also running a 24hr email help service.
Mind Your Mood, managed by Ulster University, is designed and delivered by students who have life experience of mental health illness to help other students avoid mental illness, provide support at the earliest point, build awareness of mental illness and provide support to students who are already diagnosed with mental illness.
Donations for the Randox Team Abseil can be made here: https://www.justgiving.com/teams/RANDOXAWARE
For more information about Randox Mental Health & Wellbeing Month, please contact RandoxPR@randox.com.