A Ballymena diagnostics company is working around the clock to manufacture millions of COVID-19 rapid test kits amid the ongoing pandemic.
Based in Ballymena Business Centre, Prestige Diagnostics UK is exporting its range of Coronavirus testing devices to its global network of distributors across the UK and Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Arabian Peninsula and South America.
With a need for testing set to continue for months, if not years, founder and Managing Director Alan Rodgers said the firm is preparing to “significantly ramp up” its operations to meet unprecedented demand for its product range.
“When news of COVID-19 first started to emerge several months ago, we reacted quickly in investing significant time and resources to develop an innovative new product range that could serve the enormous demand for COVID-19 testing kits,” he explained.
“Our Research and Development team have worked hard to deliver a range of high-quality COVID-19 rapid test devices – ranging from a simple finger prick 10-minute fast-responsive test and nasal and throat swab tests, to more detailed PCR testing suitable for GP clinics and hospital laboratories – all offering accurate results every time.
“The fight has just begun, and this will be with us for a very long time. However, we are uniquely placed to offer four different assay (tests) lines including polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing – a laboratory technique used to make multiple copies of a segment of DNA. PCR is very precise and can be used to amplify, or copy, a specific DNA target from a mixture of DNA molecules.
Mr Kernohan, an experienced international business development consultant, continued: “Global demand for our range of kits has been so high that we are now putting in place plans to scale-up our operations significantly, to include additional manufacturing space and personnel.”
The Prestige Diagnostics testing devices are now being used by health services across the world, serviced via the company’s international distribution network. In addition, the firm is supplying its devices directly to industry – such as the oil industry in Scotland, testing workers before they enter and as they leave an oil rig.
In a collective statement, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Group Party Leaders – Councillors Gregg McKeen, Timothy Gaston, Gerardine Mulvenna, Eugene Reid, James McKeown and Keith Turner – commended Prestige Diagnostics for its agility.
“Mid and East Antrim is renowned as a hub for manufacturing in Northern Ireland and Prestige Diagnostics is a tremendous example of the innovation and agility that underpins so many of our indigenous firms.
“Alan and his team are to be commended for responding so quickly to the fight against COVID-19 in the way that they have. That the positive impact of their work is being felt by healthcare professionals and industry across the work is truly outstanding.”
Established in 2012, Prestige Diagnostics UK is a primary manufacturer of IVD reagents in the areas of Blood Grouping, Clinical Chemistry, Quality Controls and Calibrators, Coagulation, Elisa, PCR, Febrile Antigens, Latex Serology, Syphilis assays, Rapid tests and Urine strips. Represented in 89 regions across the world, the firm works closely with a global network of 138 distributors to build relationships that are efficient, mutually productive and trustworthy. For more information, visit www.prestigediagnostics.co.uk