Celebrating World Antimicrobial Awareness week!
It’s World Antimicrobial Awareness week!
Antimicrobial resistance occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites resist the effects of medications, making common infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death. As a result of drug resistance, antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines become ineffective and infections become increasingly difficult or impossible to treat.
Randox want to take part in the global campaign that is celebrated annually to improve awareness and understanding of Antimicrobial. We have interviewed one of our Molecular specialists, Dr Dwaine Vance on how our revolutionary Randox products aid in the fight against AMR.
What threat does AMR present to the health care environment?
In a worse-case scenario the increasingly worrying levels of AMR globally will have a significant negative effect on healthcare. Without effective antimicrobials to treat a wide arrange of infectious diseases, people will be more likely to get ill, be unresponsive to medications, which in turn will result in longer hospital stays, increased economic burden, lower levels of quality of life and ultimately poorer prognosis including elevated levels of morbidity and mortality.
How does Randox help in the fight against AMR?
Randox have developed and continue to develop infectious disease tests to detect a wide-range infectious disease. Randox have also included resistance gene markers within these molecular-based PCR tests to determine if an infection is sensitive or resistance to certain antimicrobials.
In addition to diagnostic tests, Randox also supply quality control materials such as third-party molecular controls and external quality assessment schemes that are used in molecular microbiology laboratories to ensure their PCR tests are working accurately and robustly. This means that labs can provide the correct information to clinicians that is vitally important to determine what antibiotic therapy is prescribed to the patient.
Can you tell us about any exciting developments in Randox?
Randox are continuously investing and reinvesting in our Molecular Research and Development departments. We have recently released a molecular point of care test that can discriminate between MRSA and MSSA. This means that sufficient isolation and correct primary treatment can be provided to the patient in a timelier fashion. We are in the process of releasing a UTI test that can detect over 20 UTI-related bacterial infections. In addition to these pathogens, this test also determines if the pathogens detected are resistant to commonly used antibiotics such as Trimethoprim or Vancomycin.
Furthermore, Randox are releasing an immunoassay-based point of care machine called the VerasSTAT, which includes tests for CRP and MxA biomarkers. These biomarkers are released into the bloodstream during infection as part of the body’s immune response. CRP and MxA can assist the clinician in determining if an infection is of bacterial or viral origin.
What measures do you think we can take to prevent the spread of AMR?
Improved personal hygiene and sanitation will reduce transmission of infectious diseases within the global population. The development of more innovative and more easily accessible antibiotics, as well as improved antibiotic stewardship within clinical settings will also help slow down the alarming rates of AMR globally. Most importantly, the creation of new syndromic style testing panels, like the tests currently provided by Randox will undoubtedly improve the clinical outcome for patients who are have an infectious disease.
We are urging the public to help raise awareness of antimicrobial resistance. Randox is committed to the ongoing development of products and services as well as our research into numerous disease areas to improve health worldwide.
For our 2018/19 placement students, their year with Randox is almost at an end.
To mark their time with us and wish them the best of luck with their future studies, we took the opportunity to speak with one of our placement students in the sales team, to give us an insight of her experience during a Randox placement year.
Meet Kathryn Wilson, Business Placement Sales Executive for Randox Biosciences.
Hi Kathryn, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a 21-year-old student studying Bsc Equine and Veterinary Bioscience at Aberystwyth University in Wales. In September 2018 I began working in the Biosciences division of Randox Laboratories, specifically working on the release of new molecular technologies for clinical diagnostics. As part of a newly formed sales team, my focus is on the diagnostics market in Ireland.
Why did you want to forge a career in sales?
Whilst studying my bio-veterinary degree my only focus had been on science, so I was keen to broaden my horizons and explore opportunities in a business role for a company involved in the life-sciences industry. Initially, I was tentative of a role in sales, but I knew it would be a good way to develop a broad knowledge of business and the industry, and develop new skills.
Why did you decide to take your placement year with Randox?
Randox was a perfect fit for me, as a global scientific company based in Northern Ireland. I was looking for a placement that would allow me to spend time at home before returning to Wales for university.
I was intrigued by their range of products and diverse market presence in industries such as pharmaceuticals, biotech, research and healthcare. It seemed like a good company to gain an insight into new research in a variety of career sectors.
Describe a typical day as a Business Placement Sales Executive.
My role has evolved as we have moved through the different stages of product development throughout the year. Initially, when I first joined the team, we were in the planning stage. This involved mapping potential contacts and key sites in Ireland, and developing a sales strategy.
As this is a new venture for Randox the role also involved educating the market on our technology and creating awareness in all potential points of sale. This educational aspect of my job involved regular trips and meetings across Ireland, and frequent UK team meetings to discuss market feedback and problem solve. It’s important that we have been able to adapt our sales strategy for the specific healthcare areas -from public to private and point-of-care to large laboratories. Coming into the final month of my placement we are now prepared for product release with confirmed validation studies and initial placements, and significant interest across Ireland.
What are some examples of the tasks and responsibilities of your role?
There has been a range of ongoing tasks throughout the year to facilitate a busy and growing division. I was given the responsibility of forecasting, logging orders and organising meetings, and have been involved in internal decision-making processes alongside management. I have also helped to manage the university contracts in Ireland for our lab equipment, reagents and outsourcing some testing for specific studies.
Before I finish my placement I’m researching the market for upcoming arrays for launch next year, and planning a final trip in Ireland.
What was the most exciting part of your placement with Randox Biosciences?
The opportunity to travel around Ireland and London has been excellent. To date I have participated in over 10 conferences on behalf of Randox. Highlights for me have been corporate hospitality with potential customers at the Randox Health Grand National, and presenting at the first Infectious Disease Forum for Randox, in front of representatives from microbiology sites across Ireland.
I was also trusted to conduct a trip on my own around Donegal and Sligo, coupled with a visit to our Donegal R&D site, Randox Teoranta in Dungloe, to learn about future veterinary arrays in development.
It has been a privilege to be able to work with such a diverse range of people – from the scientists developing the products, to the sales team specialising in markets across the globe. There are so many different career paths here at Randox.
What has been the most challenging aspect of your time at Randox Biosciences?
I have been challenged to quickly adapt to the business environment and gain an in-depth understanding of the wide range of products. I have been pushed outside my comfort zone to discuss with customers, present to the team and take responsibility of the day-to-day tasks.
Knowing the new molecular diagnostics range, infectious disease panels, and competitors in the market well enough to be confident in front of potential customers on my own, has also been a challenge. Hard work at Randox is acknowledged however, and I was awarded runner-up Business Student of the Year.
What is the best thing about Randox and would you recommend this placement to other students?
The best thing about a placement with Randox is that you will be given as many opportunities as you are willing to take. They are very supportive and will push you as much as any other member of the team.
As a non-business student this year has given me a wealth of insight into the workings of a global company, as well as furthering my scientific knowledge and interests in many aspects of the industry.
I would recommend a Randox placement for students who are keen to gain as much experience as possible in a global company focused on new and exciting health research.
What are your goals for the future?
My experience at Randox has given me an excellent insight into the world of business in the biosciences industry, and has prepared me well to build a career in this exciting industry. I think that the experience gained through Randox will be applicable to many life sciences sectors which I would like to explore further.
Although I am not sure what the future may hold, in the shorter term I am looking forward to returning to finish my final year at Aberystwyth.
For more information about Randox Biosciences and what career opportunities we offer please contact firstname.lastname@example.org