Stirling MP Alyn Smith has warmly welcomed a £6.76 million deal between NHS Scotland and manufacturing firm LumiraDx, to purchase new machines capable of turning around coronavirus (COVID-19) tests in 12 minutes.
The UK-based life sciences company LumiraDx will produce test strips at their facility in Stirling, designed to supply 300 rapid testing machines along with a minimum of 500,000 tests.
The LumiraDx Platform instruments are portable and have been designed to meet the needs of remote locations – making them ideal for local clinics or mobile units in Scotland’s rural and island communities. The instruments also utilise cloud-based technologies, informing public health authorities and supporting Scotland’s ‘Test and Protect’ strategy.
The test was authorised for emergency use by the US Federal Drug Administration last week and is going through the final stages of validation for use in Scotland and Europe.
Alyn Smith MP said:
‘Stirling is home to a whole host of technology and research companies who are developing the bleeding edge of science and industry. The fight against COVID-19 has rallied every resource at Scotland’s disposal, and I praise LumiraDx for the role they’re playing in producing this innovative testing equipment.
‘Government, residents and businesses need certainty as we begin to economically recover from this pandemic. With faster, more widespread testing, cases can be caught early, outbreaks contained and their overall impact reduced.
‘This is really excellent news, and a living testament to Scotland’s values of internationalism, ingenuity and innovation.’
Ivan McKee, Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, said:
‘The contract with LumiraDx to supply 12-minute test instruments to NHS Scotland is great news for communities across the country and for the global fight against this virus.
‘The strips that are part of these testing devices will be manufactured in Scotland supporting local jobs and again highlighting the strength of our life sciences industry.
‘Our vision is for a Scotland where innovation is an intrinsic part of our culture, our society and our economy and this is one example of the role that our life science sector can play on the global stage.’
Chief executive and chairman of LumiraDx Ron Zwanziger said:
‘We designed our high-sensitivity Platform to deliver fast, accurate and actionable diagnostic results near to the patient.
‘We are proud to have a strong presence in Scotland with our research and manufacturing teams here and look forward to working with Scotland’s health systems to address the COVID-19 crisis in a way that’s affordable and accessible in community care settings.’
LumiraDx is UK-based with headquarters in London, research and development and manufacturing in Stirling and sales offices in Arbroath.
The test detects COVID-19 antigen protein from a nasal swab with results in under 12 minutes in symptomatic patients. Other rapid tests currently being trialled produce results in an average time of 90 minutes.
Following the initial order of 500,000 tests the Scottish Government anticipates a four nations agreement for future procurement.
Link to Scottish Government News: https://www.gov.scot/news/12-minute-covid-tests/