Norbrook partners with Randox on staff screening programme for COVID-19
Pharmaceuticals company Norbrook Laboratories has revealed that it will be the first company in Northern Ireland to install an innovative COVID-19 testing platform for on-site staff screening.
The Newry-based firm, which specialises in the development of pharmaceuticals for the veterinary industry, will begin testing for its workforce in the coming weeks, to provide reassurance and peace of mind for colleagues and for their families, without impacting on the public health need.
The COVID-19 screening programme at Norbrook is being facilitated by diagnostic technology from global diagnostics company Randox, one of the partners within the national COVID-19 testing programme.
David Ferguson, Managing Director at Randox Food Diagnostics explained;
“Collectively we are all working towards a timely return to a more normal society, which will see companies reopening and people returning to work.
“To facilitate this recovery of the economy, without compromising the health of workers or of the wider general public, workplaces have a responsibility to provide a safe working environment.
“We know that the health of Norbrook’s staff is their priority and as such it is great to see them taking a proactive approach to testing.”
The COVID-19 screening programme at Norbrook is the first in Northern Ireland being facilitated by an innovative testing platform capable of processing results in 2hours 30 mins.
The technology, named the Vivalytic, can screen for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, as well as a range of other viral and bacterial infections including Influenza A and B, Pneumonia and other coronaviruses.
“Randox is fully committed to supporting the national effort to fight COVID-19 by testing at scale, and as we continue to work alongside the government and ramp up our testing capabilities, we welcome the fact that other organisations are also adopting our innovative COVID-19 testing technologies to address their own particular testing needs.
“The Vivalytic, which provides high quality molecular testing for COVID-19, on-site and without the need for laboratory experience, is a unique space-saving, hygienic solution for personnel COVID-19 testing in any setting and will help a wide variety of industries get back to business by ensuring the highest level of safety.”
Denise Collins, Norbrook Human Resources Director, concluded;
“We’re proud to be working with a company like Randox which has such vast experience in the diagnostics industry and was subsequently able to respond so quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“That this world-leading technology is available from a Northern Ireland-headquartered company presents a unique opportunity for workplaces here to quickly and easily implement a staff screening programme, and at the same time demonstrate a high standard of duty of care that should be shown by employers to their employees.”
For further information about the Vivalytic please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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25 May 2020
Whole pathogen molecular controls for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) receive CE marking
CE marking has been granted to whole pathogen quality controls for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), from global diagnostics company Randox Laboratories.
The molecular controls are currently being used alongside the firm’s pioneering COVID-19 tests, performed on its proprietary Biochip, as part of a nationwide UK testing programme.
Randox is using these third-party quality controls, which include a Positive Control, Negative Control, Analytical Q Panel and Molecular Q Panel, to ensure accurate coronavirus test and system performance, and ultimately, guarantee laboratory quality assurance.
Lynsey Adams, Randox Quality Control Manager, explained;
“Accurate and reliable laboratory testing is an essential aspect of COVID-19 disease management and outbreak control.
“Designed specifically for laboratories currently managing COVID-19 testing, Randox SARS-CoV-2 controls, which have been CE marked, help ensure the accuracy and reliability of molecular assays used in the testing of suspected coronavirus samples, and importantly, give clinicians absolute confidence in any COVID-19 diagnoses they may make.”
Available under the brand name Qnostics, the new SARS-CoV-2 controls are manufactured using whole pathogens. They therefore mimic the patient sample, providing the best sample matrix for laboratories.
“The Randox Qnostics SARS-CoV-2 controls are clinically relevant for full-process validation. Liquid frozen for user convenience and ease of use, the development of the controls using whole pathogen material ensures clinical relevance from extraction to amplification and detection.”
The new coronavirus controls from Randox, which contain the entire SARS-CoV-2 genome, including the conserved regions recommended by CDC and WHO, are compatible for use with both commercial and in-house testing methods, and are quantified by digital PCR to ensure batch to batch reproducibility.
“We are proud to be able to support the high demand for coronavirus testing by delivering a full COVID-19 testing package – not only our Coronavirus Biochips but now also the corresponding molecular control material that will ensure the delivery of accurate, and reliable results.
“The World Health Organization (WHO) has been very clear about the importance of testing in the global efforts to contain and delay COVID-19 and we are pleased that our new CE-marked controls comply with guidelines not only from the WHO but also from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.”
Randox Qnostics SARS-CoV-2 Controls are heat-inactivated to be non-infectious and are manufactured to ISO 13485 standards.
Key Features and Benefits of Randox SARS-CoV-2 Qnostics Controls:
- Whole pathogen – the controls contain the entire SARS-CoV-2 genome meaning they are compatible with the majority of commercial and in-house assays, and target the CDC and WHO consensus sequences
- Monitor the entire testing process – whole pathogen controls are the ideal clinically relevant material for full-process validation, from extraction to amplification and detection, to ensure ultimate quality assurance in laboratories.
- Non-infectious – the controls are heat-inactivated and gamma-irradiation enabling safe handling of material.
- Highly characterised – the controls are quantified by digital PCR to ensure batch to batch reproducibility.
- Clinically relevant – performance data is available to support the clinical relevance and the compatibility with molecular assays currently in use in clinical laboratories.
- High Quality – the controls are manufactured under ISO 13485 guidelines and are therefore suitable for a broad range of usage.
- Liquid for Ease-of-Use – conveniently supplied in a liquid frozen format meaning there is no additional preparation or handling required.
- Complete QC package – Analytical and Molecular Q Panels available for new assay validation as well as routine performance monitoring.
For more information visit www.randox.com/coronavirus-randox
RANDOX CALLS UPON NI ENGINEERS TO BUILD COVID-19 TESTING PLATFORMS
Randox Laboratories has today announced it is recruiting 160 mechanical, electrical and manufacturing engineers to enhance its capacity for COVID-19 testing.
The engineers, who are due to begin work at the Randox Science Park from the middle of May, will be involved in the fast-tracked development of specialist molecular analysers used to detect the presence of COVID-19.
These testing platforms will be used to further enhance the government’s national testing scheme for key workers, as well as to facilitate testing more broadly across the general populace.
Dr Peter FitzGerald, Managing Director of Randox Laboratories, commented;
“It is Randox’s priority to ensure that we support the UK’s effort to fight COVID-19, by testing at scale. We know that this is the most effective way to both save lives and promote a timely return to a more normal society.
“We continue to ramp up our COVID-19 testing capabilities – not only by increasing our production of testing kits, but also by accelerating the build schedule for the testing analysers on which the tests are performed.
“We are aiming, by working at maximum efficiency in a greatly accelerated time frame of 6-7 weeks, to manufacture 200 of our most state-of-the-art testing platforms, which will greatly enhance our testing capacity at Randox.”
Randox has, in recent weeks, established a number of new teams responsible for the development, manufacturing and distribution of COVID-19 testing kits for the national testing programme.
The company is also interested in speaking to anyone with experience in mechanical, electrical or manufacturing engineering. Invest Northern Ireland is helping by contacting companies which may be able to temporarily release resources to help meet this urgent staffing requirement.
Dr FitzGerald added;
“To meet the unprecedented demand for COVID-19 testing, we have been redeploying our own personnel to various COVID-19 critical departments, but are now also recruiting for a number of specialist disciplines.
“Everyone at Randox has a vital role to play in the practical application of COVID-19 testing, and for engineers in particular, this is a unique opportunity to make a positive impact in the fight against COVID-19, by directly contributing in no small part to the national testing programme.”
Anyone interested in the Randox COVID-19 Engineering Drive should apply at careers.randox.com
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