Grand National Sponsor Randox goes back to its roots with Point-to-Point Racing Event

Grand National Sponsor Randox goes back to its roots with Point-to-Point Racing Event

Global healthcare company Randox, recently unveiled as the main sponsor for the Grand National under the banner of Randox Health, is committed to supporting local grass roots horse racing, as this weekend it hosts the Point-to-Point Steeplechases at Crumlin, County Antrim, in association with the Killultagh, Old Rock and Chichester Hunt.

Point-to-Points are now firmly established in national hunt racing, with several champion horses starting their careers on the Irish Point-to-Point circuit.

Following the Randox Point-to-Point 2014, Classic Place was sold to Gigginstown House Stud, owned by Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary, who we all know to be the owner of The Crabbie’s Grand National 2016 winner, Rule The World.

Last year multiple All Ireland Champion Derek O’Connor registered a double, partnering Ballycross to victory for Templepatrick trainer Colin McKeever and leading local owner Wilson Dennison, followed by Chosen Dream at the fifth. O’Connor also recorded a brace of winners having scored with Sister Saragh at the first and Frost at the fifth.

But don’t worry if you’re not a racing enthusiast – the Randox Point-to-Point is the perfect day out for all the family. The increasingly popular event will host a unique Artisan village, showcasing a variety of food, drink and crafts stalls including, homemade jams, chutneys and sauces, ceramics, handmade chocolate and jewellery, woollen knits, handmade tea towels and tote bags, cakes, photography and much more!

Randox Managing Director, Dr Peter FitzGerald, highlighted the company’s equestrian heritage and is looking forward to both this year’s Point-to-Point, and next year’s Grand National:

“We are pleased to host the Point-to-Point with the Killultagh, Old Rock and Chichester Hunt, where champions are made. As a global company with firm links to our local heritage, we are proud to be involved with grass roots equestrian sports, which are part of the local community and sports scene.  This history of being involved in equestrian events has naturally progressed to our sponsorship of the Grand National, and is fitting with our ambition. We look forward to this year’s two day Point-to-Point – where we might spot a future Randox Health Grand National winner!”

The Randox Point-to-Point will take place on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd of April, at Largy Road in Crumlin. The first race on Friday 22nd of April will start at 4pm; on Saturday 23rd of April, the first race takes place at 2pm.

General admission is £5 per person, with free entry for children under the age of 16.

Admission via the Laurelbank, Largy Road Crumlin, BT29 4RN.

Craft stalls are provided by North Down Crafts Collective and The Prince’s Trust charity.

For more information on the Randox Point-to-Point, email events@randox.com


BBC Newsline investigates legal highs with Randox Testing Services

This week, Randox Testing Services opened the doors of its laboratory to BBC Newsline, and Donna Traynor, to offer an expert opinion on legal highs.  Legal highs are mood-altering or stimulant substances whose sale is not banned by current legislation. They are made up of various chemical ingredients and replicate a similar user experience of illegal drugs such as cannabis, ecstasy and cocaine. They are extremely addictive and can have fatal side effects.

April 2016 marks the anniversary of one such case. The tragic passing of Adam Owens, a 17 year old boy who died after taking a legal high known as Sky brought this issue to the spotlight, and now one year on, the BBC want to know what is being done to tackle this issue.

The most difficult issue to combat with legal highs is that their chemical make-up is constantly being altered in order to get around legislation. As they keep changing it is difficult to create tests for these substances as they constantly evolve. Addressing this issue, Dr Mark Piper, Head of Toxicology at Randox Testing Services explained what is currently being done to try and counter this problem:

“We counter it here at Randox by continually developing new tests. In the past 12 months, Randox has developed over 115 new tests for new types of psychoactive substances.

These drugs are continually being developed and evolving into new types of substances which have previously fallen outside of the legislation, so it is a challenge for the likes of ourselves as drug testing laboratories to continually develop new tests to detect these substances.”

The prevalence of legal high use makes this an issue that cannot be avoided. Randox Testing Services are dedicated in their commitment to continually develop new tests in the fight against legal highs.

For more information on our services related to legal highs click here or contact testingservices@randox.com


Randox named in The Sunday Times Profit Track 100 League Table

This week saw the publication of The Sunday Times Profit Track 100, and we are delighted to announce that Randox has been named at number 65 in the league table which ranks the 100 private UK companies with the fastest-growing profits over a three-year period.

Stuart Lisle, of BDO Accountants, featured Randox in his piece; ‘Innovation and trade make a good formula for expansion’, noting impressive findings that:

  • Randox supplies 10% of the world’s cholesterol tests
  • Our diagnostic products are used in 145 countries across the globe

Stuart Lisle commented;

“After outperforming most of our peers, Britain is entering a period of economic uncertainty: stock markets are volatile, growth in China is slowing, Europe’s recovery has stalled and, as the Bank of England governor Mark Carney noted in March, the possibility of Brexit is not helping.  Our polling shows that 70% of mid-market companies think leaving the EU would make running their businesses harder but there are strong arguments on both sides of the debate.

Thankfully, while our politicians talk in Westminster, our mid-market companies are getting on with business, driving growth by innovating at home and trading overseas.

This year’s Profit Track 100 contains numerous examples.  Just look at what Peter FitzGerald, founder of Randox Laboratories is achieving.  From humble beginnings in his parents’ garden shed in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, he has developed the firm into one the supplies 10% of the world’s cholesterol tests as well as a range of other diagnostic instruments used in 145 countries…and it is one of 55 companies in this year’s Profit Track 100 that are growing by selling internationally.”

We would like to thank Stuart for recognising our success and innovation.  We are extremely proud of how far the company has come – from humble beginnings over 34 years ago, to a company with more than 1400 employees of 44 nationalities, including 300 research scientists and engineers.

Dr Peter FitzGerald, Managing Director of Randox said:

“The growth that we have witnessed over the last 3 years principally enables us to further strengthen our infrastructure and increase the world leading research and development we are conducting – to achieve the earliest possible diagnosis of a very wide range of clinical conditions. We remain dedicated to saving lives and improving health worldwide, and reinvesting our profits helps ensure that we will realise our vision.”

The Profit Track 100 league table is compiled by Fast Track, the Oxford-based research and networking events firm.


New test developed by Randox will reduce severe side effects of chemotherapy for leukemia patients

Global healthcare company Randox, recently unveiled as the sponsors for the Grand National 2017 under the banner of Randox Health, today announced it has been awarded an Innovate UK Award, for their pioneering work in the development of a diagnostic test for Acute Myeloid Leukemia patients.

Randox’s award-winning test will enable the stratification of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) patients, to determine patient response, before chemotherapeutic treatment.  Currently, aggressive chemotherapy is given at diagnosis for the 2900 patients diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia every year in the UK, yet up to 40% of patients do not respond to this treatment due to the type of their cancer cells, and the patient’s genetic make-up.

The competition was therefore designed to promote the development of new diagnostic products and services for use in stratified medicine; in this case studying groups of leukemia patients to predict which treatments their cancers are likely to respond to.

Dr Cherith Reid, Project Manager for the AML Test at Randox, commented;

“As with any illness, it is important to select the best treatment and care for AML patients based on their diagnosis. The majority of AML patients are over 60 years old, and with the rise in the elderly population, increased prevalence of the disease is predicted. Currently, patients in this age range who are deemed fit for treatment are prescribed cytarabine chemotherapy, where the patient’s reaction to this drug is uninformed and is based on a trial-and-error approach.    The information provided by our test will allow us to identify patients whose cancer is drug responsive, and treat them accordingly, possibly with lower doses of chemotherapy, reducing its severe side-effects. We want to assist clinicians in selecting the best treatment and care for patients as early as possible to improve patient outcomes.”

Phase one of the project includes an economic study to measure the health economic benefits for The National Health Service, conducted by The National Institute for Health Research Diagnostic Evidence Co-Operative London.

Professor George Hanna, NIHR DEC London Centre Director, commented;

“The stratification of patients within the NHS has been widely acknowledged as an important method for the efficient use of resources, as well as improving patient experience. New in vitro diagnostic tests that can classify patients in this way – such as the test being developed at Randox for Leukemia patients – personalise patient care to better inform treatment decisions which will hopefully lead to improved health outcomes and fewer side effects. This is particularly important for Leukemia patients who face the severe side effects of chemotherapy.  Through the collaboration of Randox Laboratories and the NIHR Diagnostic Evidence Co-operative London, we have a unique opportunity to evaluate the adoption pathway of the new Randox AML technology to translate it to the bedside where it can best benefit patient care.”

“Determining Acute Myeloid Leukemia patient response to chemotherapeutic treatment” was selected by Innovate UK in the “Stratified Medicine: connecting the UK infrastructure” competition.

Pictured: Dr Cherith Reid


Innovations in Gestational Diabetes testing

More and more women in the United States are waiting until they’re older to start having children.

The number of births to women aged 45–49 rose 14% in 2013 from 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Vital Statistics Report.  With this comes the responsibility by clinicians and laboratories to better assess those at risk of gestational diabetes and to aid better control of the condition for those who already have it.  Quick and precise detection of risk of gestational diabetes and associated complications by clinical labs will provide women with the autonomy to take control of their maternal health.

Innovations in maternal health testing have meant that analysis such as adiponectin and enzymatic fructosamine are now available in automated biochemistry formats and with more accurate methodologies; allowing laboratories to assess gestational diabetes risk, and evaluate control of the condition with ease, speed and accuracy.  Testing of such analytes have historically been non-routine and not easily accessible for clinical laboratories, and now with little adjustment within the laboratory, these can be added to the test menu allowing for detailed patient testing profiles.

Current innovations in the area of gestational diabetes testing will ultimately secure the health, both during and post-pregnancy, of mother and baby.

Randox Laboratories are a global manufacturer of automated adiponectin and fructosamine biochemistry assays.  For further information, download our brochure or contact reagents@randox.com


Diabetes diagnosis & monitoring: Which tests?

Randox Reagents are supporting World Health Day on April 7th 2016 this year!

The focus of this year’s World Health Day is on the fight against diabetes. It is essential to increase the awareness of this as a growing epidemic, let people know that diabetes is preventable and to help manage the effects of the illness in those already living with it.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease that occurs whenever the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin to properly regulate blood sugar levels. There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2 and gestational.

Type 1 – People with this form of diabetes are unable to produce their own insulin and therefore must inject themselves with insulin.

Type 2 – This is the most common form of diabetes which occurs whenever a person can produce their own insulin but must put measures in place to control it. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90% of diabetes cases worldwide.

Gestational – This form of diabetes affects women during pregnancy, when they develop high levels of glucose which insulin cannot bring under control.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) stated that in 2008, 347 million people had diabetes worldwide and in 2012, diabetes was the direct cause 1.5 million deaths.

Randox offer a range of high quality diabetes related diagnostic tests

It is crucial to raise awareness of diabetes to encourage people to get tested early, enabling them to put measures in place to avoid developing the illness, as well as ensuring complications do not occur. Randox are continuously developing the best quality diabetes-related diagnostic tests.

For diagnosis and monitoring

We offer tests for the diagnosis and monitoring of diabetes. These are Glucose, HbA1c and Fructosamine.

Complications management

Diabetes can cause a number of complications such as chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular disease and even blindness. We offer a number of high quality tests which aid in monitoring these complications such as Albumin, Beta-2 Microglobulin, Cystatin C, D-3-Hydroxybutyrate, Microalbumin and Non-Esterified Fatty Acids (NEFA).

Related Biomarkers

A related biomarker is Adiponectin, which can measure a patient’s visceral fat levels, the fat around the waist surrounding the internal organs. This can indicate heart disease risk, as well as insulin resistance.

With this broad diabetes testing panel, we will continue to support the aim to beat diabetes with World Health Day.

For more information on our diabetes tests view our diabetes page.

For health professionals

Randox offer a wide range of reagents for the diagnosis and monitoring, and complications monitoring of diabetes.  These are available for use on a wide range of biochemistry analysers.  Download our Diabetes Brochure or email reagents@randox.com for further information.


INFOGRAPHIC: What is Diabetes?

A shocking 7 million people worldwide are diagnosed with diabetes each year! As such, it is one of the biggest challenges to healthcare today. Help raise awareness of diabetes by sharing our infographic:


Why do labs favour automated assays over ELISAs?

Efficiencies

The use of ELISAs for clinical testing within a laboratory is notably time and personnel consuming, with heavy resources used on manual interaction.  Moving from ELISA technique to an automated biochemistry method for detection of the same analyte increases time and personnel efficiency considerably – time and management efficiencies equal cost effectiveness. The significance of ensuring quality in testing practices, and as such confidence in clinical results, is also a key consideration for running automated biochemistry tests over manual ELISA testing techniques. The risk of error, contamination and therefore compromising clinical results (which is higher when running ELISA methods) will be greatly reduced through the alternative biochemistry automation.

Expansion

By transitioning analytes historically only available on ELISA to automated biochemistry methods, laboratories are able to expand their test offerings to patients and clinicians.  As an example within key cardiovascular testing, analysis such as H-FABP, 11dhTxB₂, adiponectin and sPLA₂ being available in an automated biochemistry format allows laboratories to expand their testing and test menu with ease. Automated biochemistry analytes increase testing range, with little adjustment within the laboratory, allowing for detailed patient testing profiles, without the manual restrictions placed by running ELISA techniques.

Randox Laboratories are a global manufacturer of a range of automated biochemistry assays, available on hundreds of manufacturers’ analysers. For further information, download our brochure or contact reagents@randox.com.


How reliable is BMI?

BMI is commonly used to assess how healthy we are, but how reliable is BMI as a measure of health?

Body Mass Index (BMI) is frequently used to measure health. This involves comparing your weight in relation to your height to give you an indication of your weight status.  It will categorise you as being either underweight, overweight, obese or healthy. Although widely used, BMI is often argued to be inaccurate as it doesn’t take into account muscle mass, age, sex, ethnicity and fitness levels. Even with a ‘healthy’ BMI, you could still be at risk of developing illnesses such as heart diseases, cancer and type 2 diabetes.

A more accurate indicator of health is the waist-to-hip ratio, found by dividing waist width by hip width. A wider waist circumference gives you an indication of total body fat as well as the level of visceral fat. Visceral fat is essentially body fat stored within the abdominal cavity; the internal fat that surrounds the organs.

There is a growing body of research which suggests that visceral fat or so-called ‘belly fat’ is the most dangerous type of fat, with it being linked to chronic diseases such as cancers, heart diseases and diabetes-related illnesses. Furthermore, visceral fat levels have even been suggested to predict type 2 diabetes, although this is a warning sign more commonly displayed in women rather than men.

Factors which contribute to increased visceral fat levels include lifestyle habits such as stress and exercise habits; dietary contributors and demographics such as age, ethnicity and even gender.

Presence of a blood analyte (or component) called adiponectin is closely linked with visceral fat levels.  An ever-increasing number of clinical studies highlight that lower levels of adiponectin indicate higher levels of visceral fat. Adiponectin levels can be tested to give you an accurate measurement of the level of visceral fat you are carrying.

In short, monitoring visceral fat levels is a much more accurate measure of risk of a number of diseases including cancers, CVD and diabetes than BMI; which does not take into account muscle mass, age, sex, ethnicity and fitness level.  A true measure of visceral fat levels can be measured using the adiponectin test, which can be requested from your doctor today!

For health professionals

Adiponectin is an adipokine exclusively secreted by adipocytes which has an important role in a number of metabolic processes such as fatty acid oxidation and glucose regulation.

Randox Adiponectin assay is an automated biochemistry assay for the measurement of adiponectin in serum or plasma, and is available for use on most biochemistry analysers.   For more information, please contact us: reagents@randox.com


How does Randox contribute to science?

Last week marked British Science Week 2016, an annual campaign that aims to inspire innovation and celebrate science. To mark the occasion, thousands of events took place across the UK. Randox Laboratories got involved, celebrating the innovation of Randox scientists, and the complementary work of our teams, through a series of tweets and articles. Read on to find out more about our teams, and how we contribute to science!

What are the different divisions within Randox?

The Randox team encompasses our clinical chemistry teams Randox Reagents, Randox QC and the RX series of clinical chemistry analysers; our niche divisions including Randox Food Diagnostics, Randox Toxicology and Randox Biosciences; and, our service divisions including Randox Testing Services and Randox Health. The contribution each team has made to science is simply marvellous.

How do we contribute to science?

We contribute to the innovation of diagnostic technologies

At the forefront of the Randox success is our investment in R&D. Beginning our journey in 1982 with a small selection of reagents, our test menu now comprises of over 116 biomarkers. Today our reagents and QC products are used to ensure the accuracy of patient diagnosis across the world; even American astronauts use Randox reagents to test their antioxidant levels before going into space!

On par with this is our RX series range of clinical chemistry analysers. Launched in 2003, the RX daytona was the first in the range of flexible analysers; still in circulation, the RX daytona is currently used by GB athletes to ensure their health and wellbeing in the run up to Olympics 2016.

We are paving the way for personalised, preventative healthcare

From the creation of our revolutionary Biochip Array Technology (BAT) and launch of our first Biochip analyser in 2002, our thirst for innovation and creativity has continued to grow. Dedicated to advancing scientific discovery, drug development and diagnostics; the Randox Biosciences team pave the way to the future of healthcare with tailored solutions for clinical and research use.

From personalised healthcare to preventative healthcare, our succession to improving healthcare continues to expand; with our own Randox Health clinics we utilise our own innovative materials and technologies to provide private health care across the UK, soon to be the world with our acquisition of 10 new international clinics!

We are pioneers in the industry of drug and alcohol testing

As the first company to bring to market synthetic cannabinoids, Kratom and Bath Salts, Randox Toxicologists pioneer to strengthen 21st century drug testing. Sharing in this vision, the Randox Testing Services team recently helped the UK Home Office to shape the drug driving law that was passed in 2015; they created the tests needed to enforce the law. These tests can detect even the smallest amounts of illegal drugs in the body, and since then, drug drive arrests have soared by 800%.

And our innovation does not stop there!

Randox entered the realm of food and wine screening with the Randox Food Diagnostics team, a team of specialists who aim to improve the standards of global food safety with the development of superior screening solutions. Exported all over the world, our products, including dedicated kits for wine analysis, are utilised on such a large scale that our Randox Food Diagnostic scientists analyse enough wine to fill 40 Olympic swimming pools every year!

Maintaining the Randox goal to improve health worldwide is what motivates our R&D scientists, who work hard to help this be achieved!

What do Randox do to inspire others to enter a career in science?

Inspirational in itself is the success of Randox; founded in 1982 in Northern Ireland, it is now a global success with presence in over 145 countries. The company’s success is largely due to the determination of founder Dr Peter Fitzgerald. In fact, in 2010 Dr Peter Fitzgerald was appointed as CBE for services to business in Northern Ireland.

In addition to the company’s awe inspiring success, the Randox Careers team aspire to inspire, and attend careers fairs and presentations, along with Randox scientists and engineers, to share their experiences of working in the industry; most recently our ‘Women in STEM’ initiative has focused on encouraging women to enter careers in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

To celebrate British Science Week 2016, we shared the story of two Randox scientists; read Michael Mullan’s interview ‘A day in the life of a Molecular Biologist’ or listen to Clinical Analyst Emmet Donnelly in our ‘Interview with a Randox R&D scientist.

So what does the future hold for Randox?

As the future of science continues to prosper, so does the future of Randox! With the new Randox Science Park in the works, exciting developments in the areas of manufacturing, R&D, and healthcare awaits; accelerated development of products will be facilitated with further investment in R&D, and next generation medical diagnostics manufacturing. In addition a Transformative Healthcare Centre from the Randox Health division will also be included.  Randox Science Park will advance our efforts of improving health worldwide!


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