The UK Government has announced the opening of two new megalabs which will form part of the UK’s national infrastructure to respond to future epidemics and add to the existing diagnostic capacity for critical illnesses including cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.
The labs will be operational by early 2021 and will be located in Leamington Spa and Scotland. Each lab will add 300,000 to the UK’s daily testing capacity when operating at full capacity.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:
“These mega labs are future-proofing our national infrastructure to respond to future epidemics and improving care for other diseases, such as cancer. The new labs build on our existing testing network which we created in a matter of months and confirms the UK as a world leader in diagnostics. The work going on in these labs is ultimately working to save lives and I am hugely grateful for everyone who has worked so hard to achieve this.”
Health Minister Lord Bethell said:
“The new very high throughput labs are being set up by leaders of science with decades of experience. At the same time, we are creating thousands of jobs for the diagnostics sector to strengthen it now and for the future. Anyone who joins these labs will be offered the opportunity to learn new skills while receiving training in a lab environment. This work is absolutely crucial to tackling COVID-19 and enabling the return of more normality to our lives.”
Interim Executive Chair of the National Institute for Health Protection, Baroness Dido Harding, said:
“As we continue to open more test sites and roll out more mass testing pilots, we need to keep expanding the UK’s testing capacity, for now and the future.”
More information is available in the Government’s press release.