Industry News: Welsh lighthouse laboratory extends contract with PerkinElmer for its COVID-19 solutions

Company’s RT-PCR kits and workflow solutions will continue to safeguard capacity for NHS Test and Trace laboratory

28 May 2021

PerkinElmer, Inc., a global leader committed to innovating for a healthier world, has announced that its contract to operate the NHS Test and Trace Newport Lighthouse laboratory has been extended through March 2022.

A collaboration between PerkinElmer and NHS Test and Trace, the COVID-19 Lighthouse laboratory in Newport, South Wales, plays a pivotal role in supporting the UK government’s efforts to tackle COVID-19. Since being brought online in October 2020, the laboratory has processed over two million samples. The contract extension will see the facility’s approximately 125 employees retained at the state-of-the-art facility, to maintain its capacity of delivering tens of thousands of tests daily.  

As the nation transitions out of lockdown, the contract extension will ensure that PerkinElmer solutions and expertise will remain available and able to respond as needed. “Testing is essential so that individuals carrying the virus can be rapidly detected and virus levels within communities can be monitored,” said Chris Hughes, managing director UK & Ireland, PerkinElmer.

“The extension of the Newport Lighthouse laboratory’s contract will enable our specialist team to continue utilizing our best-in-class technologies to ensure that maximum capacity will always align with NHS Test and Trace’s testing strategy, while also being able to quickly respond to evolving public health needs.”

Health Minister Lord Bethell, said: “To help us face down this global pandemic, we have built the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities in British history, establishing the UK as a world-leader on testing. We have now conducted over 166 million tests to date – more than any other European country – and this would not have been possible without the work of our partners such as PerkinElmer. Regular testing is a centerpiece of our roadmap back to normal life and sites like the Newport Lighthouse Laboratory are playing a pivotal role in our cautious easing of restrictions and continued efforts to send this virus into retreat.”

PerkinElmer is utilizing its chemagic™ 360 instruments and JANUS® G3 PCR+ Workstations in UK labs to automate PerkinElmer’s RNA extraction and RT-PCR tests. This total workflow solution enables rapid sample processing at higher volumes, helping to decrease turnaround time. PerkinElmer’s OneSource® services and PerkinElmer Genomics operations enable this turnkey approach to provide sample testing in order to meet the Government’s COVID-19 testing requirements.

PerkinElmer continues to work on the frontlines of improving COVID-19 testing globally. The Company’s comprehensive SARS-CoV-2 offerings span high throughput RNA extraction, RT-PCR assays, automated liquid handlers, integrated workstations, rapid antigen tests, and serology tests using ELISA, chemiluminescence, time-resolved fluorescence and lateral flow technologies.

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