We recently announced our partnership with Edinburgh Genetics on a project to manufacture antibody test kits developed to support the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
The decision to develop the COVID-19 test kits – designed as a simple to use, finger prick test – came in early March when the pandemic took off. Edinburgh Genetics, experts in life science research and IVD services and equipment, was initially looking at both manufacturing and distributing test kits to aid the fight against the virus. However, since its company’s expertise lies in academic research rather than medical manufacturing, it quickly realised that it needed to partner with another business possessing the necessary technical skills and manufacturing experience. This was where we played our part.
Why Europlaz was chosen to manufacture the antibody test kits
After visiting several science parks and starting discussions with one or two manufacturing companies, Edinburgh Genetics contacted Europlaz and arranged a visit to the factory site, meeting key members of our team. We were able to demonstrate our capabilities, our focus on quality and our state of the art Class 7 cleanroom facilities and were awarded the contract based on this and the deep technical knowledge and expertise within our business. Very quickly, we developed a strong partnership and were able to manufacture the antibody test kits at the beginning of May. We have been able to guide Edinburgh Genetics through the process, focussing on the regulatory and quality requirements alongside, the manufacturing process and the finished product.
Edinburgh Genetics is a young company that came into existence in the second half of 2019. Its original focus was in advanced genetic research devices, rather than manufacturing, and there are currently around 10 people working in the business at its sites in Scotland and Hong Kong. The project demonstrates our ability to work with medical organisations of all sizes and has so far been a great success.
Distribution around the world
Despite the fact that all countries are facing a challenge around getting a sense of quality and reliability when purchasing COVID-19-related products, and that different countries have different regulatory requirements, Edinburgh Genetics has already sold and distributed test kits across the world.
In the UK, the market has predominantly been GPs and smaller clinical practices, whereas in Europe the kits have mainly been sold to hospitals. Very recently, it also received regulatory approval from the Mexican Government to sell the kits – only one of 9 businesses validated and approved to sell them in Mexico. Edinburgh Genetics anticipates that the fastest growing markets will be central and South America, and hopefully India and Africa too. As well as this, Edinburgh Genetics has donated 500 test kits to Autism Anglia, with Europlaz’s help.
Alasdair Young, Director of Edinburgh Genetics, said, “As a young company, we’ve found Europlaz’s technical expertise and its understanding of both supply chain management and the manufacturing process to be invaluable. Europlaz has been very flexible and able to accommodate all of our requirements when production of the test kits needed to increase. It’s been a very positive and productive partnership.”
As the global response to the Covid-19 continues, we expect test kit production to ramp up even further in the coming months and we look forward to building our partnership with Edinburgh Genetics and making our contribution in the fight against this disease.