UK supply contract for COVID-19 sample collection kits
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Source BioScience to use PrimeStore MTM kits for COVID-19 testing service
EKF Diagnostics Holdings plc (AIM: EKF), the AIM quoted point-of-care business, announces that it has signed an agreement with Source BioScience UK Ltd (“Source BioScience”), which provides Laboratory testing services for the NHS, to supply PrimeStore MTM, a novel patented sample collection device, to be used for its growing COVID-19 testing service.
Yesterday, the Company announced that is in the final stages of establishing a UK production line for the PrimeStore MTM sample collection kits at its site in Penarth, South Wales, to meet increasing demand. The Penarth site is expected to produce 12,500 sample collection tubes a day once normal production is established, with smaller early batch volumes expected to be shipped to Source BioScience next month.
Source BioScience, which provides ISO:15189 Laboratory testing services for the NHS and private healthcare, is working with a number of businesses providing them COVID-19 testing services of their staff to allow business to bring back staff who may be self-isolating due to concerns over infection or infection of a family member. Being able to use the PrimeStore MTM transport media allows a significant benefit of removing the cold chain transportation that is a necessary protocol for other transport media.
EKF is a contract manufacturer for the PrimeStore MTM sample collection device, an FDA-approved and CE-marked device owned and created by Longhorn Vaccines and Diagnostics LLC (“Longhorn”), a US company. PrimeStore MTM deactivates viruses, bacteria, fungi and mycobacterium tuberculosis allowing safe sample handling and transport, greatly reducing risk of infection. The device was invented in 2006 in preparation for a worldwide pandemic and is designed to de-activate pathogen rapidly and stabilise the RNA for up to four weeks with no requirement for cold storage. This makes the logistics of sample collection less expensive and allows testing to be more readily available to institutions and businesses that need to test staff regularly.
Commenting, Julian Baines, CEO of EKF Diagnostics, said: “We are delighted to supply Longhorn’s PrimeStore MTM collection kits to Source BioScience, a well-established provider of testing services to the NHS. These collection kits will ensure that COVID-19 samples can be handled and transported without expensive refrigeration or fear of contamination. This is a key part of the testing process to ensure that as a nation we can safely and rapidly increase our testing capacity. We will continue to ramp up our production capacity here in the UK and in Europe to serve the demand we expect to see, as testing moves closer to reaching the Government’s target of 100,000 tests a day.”
Commenting, Jay LeCoque, Chairman and CEO of Source BioScience, said: “We are very encouraged with this partnership and significant development from EKF, which allows the removal of cold chain transportation, making logistics of samples less expensive and more available to the many hospitals and businesses needing to test key workers and staff regularly. This dramatically expands the reach of COVID-19 testing services to a larger population and will support a faster economic recovery.”
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