Swindon pharmaceutical firm Wasdell wins contract for extraction kits used in PCR tests for Covid-19

Andy Causer – Sales Director at Wasdell (resized – 12)

Swindon-based pharmaceutical firm Wasdell has further ramped up its contribution to combating the pandemic.

The firm has been producing antiseptic and disinfectant products for a major global brand since the early days of Covid-19.

Now Wasdell has also been appointed to support the production of ribonucleic acid extraction kits for use in PCR tests for Covid-19.

The work includes the manufacturing, filling, secondary packaging and transporting of up to 1.8 million 0.5ml vials of buffer fluid per week.

Wasdell sales director Andy Causer (pictured) said the company’s ability to demonstrate it could support the requirements for extraction kits very rapidly was a key element in securing the contract.

“As an independent company we have built a strong reputation for being fleet of foot and responsive,” said Causer.

“The customer’s requirements were necessarily quite complex, and included the freezing, defrosting and refreezing of the product under controlled conditions.

“We worked closely with the client to find solutions for their various challenges, and the period from receipt of instructions to roll out of the first batch was just four weeks.”

Wasdell also had to overcome supply chain issues, as national shortages of materials developed and sourcing alcohol, plastic bottles and vials became more difficult.

Graham Clarke, general manager at Wasdell’s Northampton site, where initial production took place, said the company’s extensive knowledge of and experience in supply chains enabled staff to break down any barriers and secure the materials required.

“No challenge is too big for us, because we have so much regulatory experience,” said Clarke.

“Our approach is to strip away any noise, find out what the challenges are and use our experience to come up with a solution that meets the tight timescales on all Covid-related work. The landscape is moving very fast and, as influenza re-emerges over the winter months, testing is going to be more widespread.

“In anticipation of that we are already conducting trials on two different vials and on new types of buffer.”