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Novacyt is set to collaborate with AstraZeneca, GSK and the University of Cambridge to establish a new testing laboratory as part of the UK Government’s five-pillar plan to expedite testing for coronavirus (Covid-19).

The laboratory will be set up at the university’s Anne McLaren laboratory. It will be used for high-throughput screening for Covid-19 testing and the analysis of alternative chemical reagent use for test kits to mitigate supply shortages.

Novacyt will provide its Covid-19 test to generate results data and ensure an effective workflow process within the facility for the testing.

The company’s molecular diagnostics division Primerdesign developed the Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

Novacyt CEO Graham Mullis said: “In the UK, we continue to work with the NHS and Public Health England to supply our Covid-19 test to a growing number of hospitals and, through this new collaboration with AstraZeneca, GSK and the University of Cambridge, we are very pleased to further assist the government to increase testing.

“I, again, want to extend my gratitude to Novacyt employees who are working all hours and to our supply chain for their continued support, as all stakeholders work together during this difficult time.”

In February, Novacyt approached the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the emergency use approval (EUA) of its novel coronavirus test. The company has also been in discussion with several NHS hospitals and Public Health England on the nCoV test.

Meanwhile, AstraZeneca and GSK are also working together to support the UK national testing centres in Milton Keynes, Alderley Park and Glasgow by providing process optimisation for Covid-19.