£700,000 UK government investment in Randox R&D
A £700,000 UK Research and Innovation investment into manufacturing processes at Randox means patients could benefit from quicker, cheaper and more consistent diagnosis of diseases.
The announcement comes exactly one year after the government launched its modern Industrial Strategy – the long-term plan to boost productivity by backing businesses to create high-quality, well-paid jobs in every corner of the United Kingdom.
The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) award, administered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), will allow Randox Laboratories to further develop its state-of-the-art ‘freeze-drying’ technology which enables the components of vital diagnostic kits to be manufactured, stored and transported more effectively, producing better and speedier diagnoses.
For the first time it also allows this complicated manufacturing process to be carried out in the UK rather than having to be outsourced to countries such as the United States, bringing more jobs and economic growth. These new genomic analysis tools also have the potential to make a major impact in the global fight against antimicrobial resistance by identifying and quickly sharing information about resistant microbial strains.
More in-depth analysis of biomarkers in blood and other bodily fluid levels will allow better, quicker diagnosis of cancers and a range of other diseases, ranging from respiratory infections to sepsis, such as blood poisoning.
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland said:
“I am delighted to announce a £700,000k UK Government investment in Randox, a multinational life sciences company in County Antrim. This funding will bring significant benefits to Randox’s vital medical diagnostics and help create well-paid manufacturing jobs in Northern Ireland.
“A year-on from the launch of our Modern Industrial Strategy, this investment highlights the great progress we are making to boost productivity by backing leading businesses and creating high-quality jobs in every corner of the United Kingdom.”
John Penrose, Minister of State for Northern Ireland, who visited Randox today to mark the new investment, said:
“Everyone always says the UK needs more high-tec, high-value added manufacturing and the high-skilled, high-waged jobs it brings. But Randox are actually doing it right here in Northern Ireland. This is properly world leading, cutting-edge industry and I’m delighted that today’s money is helping bring the vision to life.”
Dr Peter FitzGerald, Managing Director of Randox Laboratories, commented:
“Innovative diagnostic technologies are not only capable of diagnosing disease and ill-health at the earliest possible stage, but they also have a real potential to advance personalised medicine. Our commitment to developing new and exciting breakthroughs in science, technology, engineering and manufacturing is therefore matched only, by our passion to transform the life of the patient. Randox is leading the way in moving from a one-size-fits-all approach towards decisions, practices, and products tailored to the needs of the individual and the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund award brings us one step closer to realising that aim.”
Funded through UK Research and Innovation, the award forms part of the ISCF Early Diagnosis and Precision Medicine programme, focusing on the use of diagnostic information and genetic analysis to drive more personalised healthcare. Innovate UK, now part of UK Research and Innovation, has supported Randox extensively since 2010, helping grow and scale an innovative diagnostics company who are now distributing their products all over the world.
The announcement comes after the government’s announcement of the Life Sciences Sector Deal that will support healthcare innovation and back businesses to create high-paid, high-quality jobs as part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy. The deal signals a vote in confidence in UK industry, with global biopharmaceutical company UCB investing around £1 billion in research and development.
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