Randox calls upon NI engineers to build COVID-19 testing platforms
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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A record £50 million investment which will deliver cutting-edge technologies to diagnose conditions like cancer, heart conditions and infectious diseases has been announced by Northern Ireland diagnostics company Randox Laboratories and Invest Northern Ireland.
This major project involves the establishment of three Centres of Excellence, enabling Randox R&D scientists to work collaboratively with colleagues from Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University. The centres are being officially launched today at the Randox Science Park. The ceremony will include a keynote address from Sir John Bell, who chaired the UK Government’s Life Sciences Industrial Strategy Board.
Advanced diagnostics have been identified as key to delivering sustainable improvement to healthcare systems struggling to cope with increasing levels of chronic and preventable conditions. Having been focused in this field for over 36 years, Randox has a successful track record of developing new and innovative tests – examples include assessing those at risk of Alzheimer’s disease and genetic cardiac conditions, to promote and enable preventive treatment, and a new clinically-approved test to diagnose prediabetes.
Managing Director of Randox Laboratories, Dr Peter FitzGerald, who today launched the three Centres of Excellence, said;
“When almost a quarter of the deaths of people under 75 in the UK are considered preventable, we need to ask ourselves what can be done to improve healthcare outcomes. There is an undeniable case for radical change in the way healthcare is delivered, and sophisticated diagnostics will be at the fore of this revolution.
“Enabling earlier and more accurate diagnosis, to identify those at the earliest stages of illness, ideally before the onset of any symptoms, is a game-changer. Through early intervention we can restrict the development of chronic conditions and improve people’s lives. Our view of the future is one where people are empowered through earlier diagnosis to stay healthier for longer, and where healthcare systems are freed to deliver quality services to patients. Our announcement today demonstrates our continuing commitment in this field.
“We are grateful for the support offered by Invest NI and look forward to addressing these pressing healthcare needs.”
The Centres of Excellence will focus respectively on clinical diagnostics, engineering for biosciences and quality control. The project, which will strengthen collaborative partnerships between Randox, Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University, will accelerate the development of new technologies and drive healthcare improvements regionally, nationally and across the globe.
Of the £23m of support offered by Invest NI, £5m will go toward research projects at Ulster University and Queen’s University Belfast.
Welcoming the investment, Alastair Hamilton, Chief Executive of Invest NI said;
“Randox has a long history of investing heavily in innovation and R&D which has enabled it to create a globally competitive export driven business, capable of developing world leading research. This major investment will enable Randox to perform cutting-edge R&D which has the potential to revolutionise the global healthcare industry. This is excellent news for Northern Ireland’s life and health sciences sector. Northern Ireland is enjoying a growing international reputation as a region of expertise and knowledge in key areas such as Diagnostics, Precision Medicine and Advanced Manufacturing. The three new Centres of Excellence will help build on this and enhance Northern Ireland’s credibility, provide supply chain opportunities, and encourage knowledge transfer with our universities.”
Sir John Bell, commenting on the potential for the UK Life Sciences sector said;
“The life sciences industry represents one of the dominant economic sectors in the UK, and one with considerable potential for growth. However, whilst we have many natural strengths we cannot afford to be complacent. We must strive to optimise our science base, to encourage collaboration across academia, industry and the NHS, and grow our industrial capabilities. To do so we need to use our extensive data sets to best effect, and have in place a strong skills strategy. Success requires vision and drive. To that end I would like to congratulate Dr FitzGerald and Randox in the establishment of these three R&D collaborative Centres of Excellence – these are assets of national standing and will have a meaningful impact in enabling earlier and more accurate diagnosis, driving improvements in patient care, regionally, nationally and globally. They are leaders in this field, committed to innovation, and I wish them every success.”
Professor Jim McLaughlin, Director of Ulster University’s Nanotechnology and Integrated Bioengineering Centre, added;
“This very welcome investment enables pioneering Randox-inspired engineering capacity at Ulster University and reflects our research commitment to the life sciences industry. From nanotechnology to the development of systems that will enable large scale laboratory capability to be produced in the palm of your hand, the partnership brings shared industry and academic research excellence from the lab into the marketplace. Life sciences is a vital economic sector locally and this collaboration will advance diagnostics and ultimately enhance patient health outcomes.”
Dr David Jess, Senior Lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast School of Mathematics and Physics, added;
“The Randox Centres of Excellence will allow Queen’s University Belfast to continue to deliver cutting-edge and world leading research. We look forward to collaborating further with industry to develop pioneering research, focused on the needs of society.”
Invest NI’s R&D support is part funded by ERDF under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014 – 2020.
For further information please contact the Randox PR Team: phone 028 9442 2413 or email email@example.com
Randox Laboratories is pleased to announce the opening of a state-of-the-art Advanced Biomedical Engineering Laboratory today, the result of an innovative partnership with some of Northern Ireland’s leading business and education stakeholders.
The strategic collaboration with Invest Northern Ireland, Ulster University and Heartsine Technologies to develop the £7 million laboratory aims to transform the future of healthcare. The lab, which is based at Ulster University, will offer expertise and state of the art equipment to assist companies to develop prototypes for the biomedical, engineering, electronic device and aerospace sectors.
Welcoming the new lab, Dr Peter FitzGerald from Randox Laboratories said: “As one of the UK’s leading life sciences companies, we are delighted to be a partner in this innovative collaboration and to promote Northern Ireland as a global life sciences hub. We believe the greatest improvements to patients’ lives are possible through the continuous development of new technologies.
“This unique laboratory will facilitate that, as it will allow the rapid development of test prototype devices and also assist us to expand our unique range of high-calibre analyser systems.”
Tracey Meharg, Invest NI’s Executive Director of Business Solutions said: “The new Bio Devices Lab is a welcome and exciting development for Northern Ireland’s Health & Life Sciences sector. The facility will open up opportunities for stronger innovation by hosting a suite of equipment which will allow companies to quickly develop prototypes and medical devices for testing.
“It is a great example of how partnerships between government, industry and academia can enhance Northern Ireland as a knowledge economy and boost the credibility and visibility of Northern Ireland as a global leader in connected health.”
Prof Jim McLaughlin from Ulster University said: “Developing technology platforms to help translate our world class science and discovery to a device format as promptly as possible is essential for the very best design and performance.
“In healthcare technology, Ulster University leads the way in the development of new patient monitoring systems, stimulation devices, wearable solutions and diagnostic sensing.
“The lab will enable our researchers to develop the strong leadership and innovation skills so critical to future industry growth, working in collaboration with our industry partners.”
The total investment is £7.4m. Invest NI has offered assistance of £3.7m through a Grant for R&D, with Ulster University contributing £2.9m and £716,000 invested through industry collaborations with Randox Laboratories and Heartsine Technologies. Invest NI’s R&D support is part funded by ERDF under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014-2020.
Celebrating the opening of the Advanced Biomedical Engineering Laboratory are (from left) Professor Brian Meenan, Ulster University; Tracy Meharg, Invest NI; Professor Jim McLaughlin, Ulster University; and Stuart McGregor, Randox Laboratories
With a major focus in R&D, Randox scientists work in pioneering research into a range of common illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Over 16% of turnover is reinvested in R&D, and therefore, we have more new tests in development than any other diagnostic company.
Of our 1400-strong workforce, almost 400 are research scientists and engineers. Over the past year alone these highly-skilled specialists have developed a new test for Alzheimer’s disease, a bladder cancer test and a test with the ability to stratify Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) patients, to determine patient response before chemotherapeutic treatment.
We were also the first company in the world to bring to market a test to detect ‘Flakka’, a dangerous and highly addictive new psychoactive substance.
Most recently we announced the official opening of our new research and testing laboratory, Randox Clinical Laboratory Services (RCLS), at the Randox Science Park in Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Research areas at the newly accredited laboratory include but are not exclusive to cancer, fertility, heart, inflammation, stroke and kidney health, both in-house and collaboratively with external organisations.
Current and past collaborations include an Acute Kidney Injury Study with the Royal Victoria Hospital, a Bladder Cancer Study in partnership with Queen’s University Belfast and The Belfast Trust, a Stroke and Brain Injury study with Cambridge University, and key partnerships with a number of major pharmaceutical companies.
Our R&D projects are known across the world for their ingenuity and relevance to current health issues.
Both our Bladder Cancer project and our Acute Myeloid Leukemia projects were awarded Innovate UK Research Awards, which enabled economic studies to be carried out by The National Institute for Health Research Diagnostic Evidence Co-Operative. These DECs will investigate the economic benefits of the new diagnostic tests for The National Health Service, and their role in the current patient care pathway.
Our revolutionary Alzheimer’s disease test was presented with a NACB / AACC Distinguished Abstract Award at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry Annual Scientific Meeting and Clinical Lab Expo, in Philadelphia.
We have also recently established a collaborative agreement with Dr. Carl Novina at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. The goal of this collaboration is to develop therapeutic antibodies that will be incorporated into a platform technology that can reprogram patients’ immune systems to attack cancers.
Our research and development programme at Randox is continuously evolving to address the most pressing health issues. We are committed to improving health worldwide and as such will continue to focus our R&D efforts where they are most needed.
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