A leading manufacturer of synthetic oligonucleotides* which make coronavirus testing possible, has established a new 745 sq ft molecular laboratory at The Oxford Science Park.
Driven by its experience during the coronavirus pandemic, ATDBio’s expansion will develop improved molecular diagnostics for COVID-19 and other pathogens. The new laboratory has the potential to accelerate ATDBio’s growth and improve the UK’s preparedness for future severe outbreaks of infectious disease.
Over the course of the pandemic, ATDBio has invested significantly in equipment to increase its DNA manufacturing capacity more than 10-fold, recruiting extra staff and supplying oligonucleotides for tens of millions of tests. Other changes include conversion of an R&D laboratory into a production facility to meet the demand for DNA oligonucleotides for COVID-19 testing. ATDBio is a participant in Innovate UK’s prestigious EDGE Scaleup Programme in recognition of its exponential growth potential.
The company is now looking to recruit and train new staff to develop better quality control tests for oligonucleotides than those commonly used. Other initial projects that the company will work on include new qPCR probes to be used in faster diagnostic tests, and further development of its novel LAMP primers and probes2 for COVID-19 testing.
Dr Tom Brown (Jnr), Chief Scientific Officer of ATDBio, said, ‘The significant increase in demand for our oligonucleotide products last year, driven by COVID-19 testing, has further underlined the importance of DNA and RNA oligonucleotides across diagnostics and therapeutics. Establishment of this molecular diagnostics facility will enable us to deepen our expertise in this area and help our customers develop new products. We look forward to welcoming new staff as part of this expansion which will help us meet our ambitious growth targets.’
*Oligonucleotides are key reagents in COVID-19 testing, used in the common amplification methods – either LAMP (loop-mediated amplification) or qPCR (polymerase chain reaction, the current gold standard).
For more information on this technology – https://www.atdbio.com/news/2021/new-atdbio-grant-to-improve-oligonucleotide-synthesis-for-covid-19-tests