Hologic investment in Manchester manufacturing facility supports UK’s ongoing COVID-19 fight
30 July 2020
Categories: Precision Medicine
Hologic, Inc., specialists in molecular diagnostics and with over 30 years’ experience in population screening and testing, today revealed how its multimillion investment in its Manchester manufacturing facility is strengthening the UK’s diagnostic infrastructure and helping Europe fight COVID-19. The company has rapidly expanded its facility, significantly increasing the production capacity of its new high volume COVID-19 test, which detects the presence of the virus, providing the test for the UK and countries in Europe.
The expanded production line is running 24 hours a day to deliver about 1 million tests a week, on average. This will enable the company to sustain demand for tests over the longer term without impacting the manufacturing capacity of other tests, for example cervical health screening tests, which are also produced at the same site. The expansion has also resulted in the creation of 44 more jobs, increasing the workforce by approximately 20% at the Manchester site.
Adrian Smith, UK General Manager, Hologic comments:
" Our investment in our Manchester manufacturing facilities enable us to support significantly increased testing capability in the UK, but has also resulted in more jobs during a time of uncertainty.”
“Scaling our production this quickly has not been easy and we’re proud of our teams and partners across the region and globe for their commitment to our purpose. By working together and with public bodies, we are all contributing to helping countries navigate the new normal.”
Importantly, this investment also expands the company’s capacity to support future testing needs, allowing it to broaden its portfolio of assays across women’s health and infectious diseases, whilst at the same time being able to flex and scale to meet emergent health threats.
Hologic’s Manchester manufacturing facility delivers a wide range of tests including those necessary for the UK’s national cervical screening programme. The company’s fully automated, high-throughput molecular diagnostic platform, the Panther® system, which is used to process the COVID-19 tests (Aptima SARS-CoV-2 assay), can run them simultaneously with sexual health, cervical health and virology tests, enabling labs to utilise all capacity as vital cancer screening and diagnostic testing resumes. There are nearly 100 of these machines already installed in 50 labs across the UK. Each Panther system can process upto 1,000 coronavirus tests in 24 hours and provide initial results in approximately three hours.
The combination of the existing instrument infrastructure and the company’s test are helping to underpin the UK government’s ability to expand its testing capabilities to the scale and frequency needed to keep infection numbers low and to support test and trace. Both are crucial for restarting the economy by containing local hotspots as well as monitoring to identify the risk of a second wave.
Hologic has been supported by Greater Manchester’s Local Industrial Strategy identifies life sciences
as being a key sector for the city region.
Councillor Elise Wilson, said:
"Hologic’s decision to invest in its established facility in Manchester and to create more than 40 new scientist jobs is very welcome. It is a vote of confidence in the expertise of the many skilled people who work in Greater Manchester’s life sciences, a sector that we are nurturing through our local industrial strategy.”