The UK’s largest laboratory diagnostics company, Randox, has announced a nationwide expansion of ten new adaptive ‘cube’ laboratories across Great Britain, with facilities that provide a rapid and cost-effective model to expand laboratory provision. Their purpose is to improve accessibility to COVID testing, facilitate screening services, and prepare for future health and testing challenges.
The laboratories will be used to bolster the UK’s COVID-19 testing capacity during the winter. Each lab will have a daily capacity of 12,000 tests, combining to bring online an additional 120,000 COVID samples per day. As these labs are adaptive, they can be repurposed to meet the UK’s diagnostic requirements post COVID.
Upon completion, the new laboratories will create 700 new jobs across the UK. The opening of the labs follows a £30 million investment by Randox, bringing its total COVID-19 investment to £150 million.
Two of Randox’s new ‘cube’ labs are already in operation outside Manchester, and two sites are due to open in North London before the end of the month. An additional six labs are also set to open by the end of 2021.
Dr Peter FitzGerald, Randox Managing Director, commented; “Whilst the initial emphasis of these new laboratories will be on providing accessible, reliable and cost-effective COVID PCR tests, we, of course, acknowledge the positive steps being taken to ease restrictions and continue opening up our economy.
“We can draw on what we have learnt both pre and during COVID, leveraging the extensive logistics framework and IT infrastructure we have put in place, to directly address the global shortfall in laboratory testing capacity that has been exposed by the pandemic.
“The time is taken to establish the required diagnostic infrastructure in the early stages of the pandemic adversely impacted the international response, but with such an adaptable capability, the UK can, as and when needed, respond rapidly to ever-increasing diagnostic demand.”