AbstractIt has been an unprecedented time for our Industry over the past 18 months. The rise of Covid-19 and the impact on our Society and Industry were not anything that could have been predicted when we had the last ELRIG Drug Discovery meeting in person in 2019. As the spread of Covid-19 developed during the Spring of 2020, the UK Government identified a gap in provision of high volume Diagnostic testing for this new pathogen. This lead to the establishment of the Lighthouse Laboratory Network beginning with the UK Biocentre in Milton Keynes and rapidly expanding to labs at Alderley Park and Glasgow providing PCR-based testing for SARS-CoV-2.
In April 2020, AstraZeneca were approached to establish a Lab in the Cambridge area to form part of the Lighthouse Network and provide extra PCR-testing capacity. The Lab was developed in two phases: Phase 1 in conjunction with GSK, University of Cambridge and AstraZeneca and Phase 2 as a collaboration between AstraZeneca and Charles Rover Laboratories. The Lab ran from April 2020 to May 2021.
In this talk, I’ll cover the development of the Cambridge Covid Testing Centre, the use of automation to increase the throughput of the SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic assay and several innovations implemented over the lifetime of the Centre. Several of these innovations are being continued in other Labs across the UK.