The Lighthouse Lab in Charnwood, Loughborough, UK, has initiated Covid-19 testing sample processing using PerkinElmer solutions as part of its partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

It will support the UK Government’s NHS Test and Trace programme.

Operated by PerkinElmer Genomics, the facility with a team of 400 scientists, researchers, technicians, and operations personnel can test up to 50,000 samples daily by early next year.

As a result of the DHSC-PerkinElmer partnership, the Lighthouse Lab now uses PerkinElmer’s Covid-19 kits, diagnostic equipment, and workflow solutions.

PerkinElmer UK & Ireland managing director Miles Burrows said: “PerkinElmer’s ability to draw on expertise from our operations across the globe has enabled us to rapidly build a facility that will apply our best-in-class technologies to efficiently test individuals and identify those carrying the virus.

“In addition to assisting the DHSC to ramp up the nation’s testing capacity, this lab has created hundreds of new jobs locally. This has allowed us to develop and deploy a team who are ready to play such an essential role in managing this pandemic.”

To be operated 24 hours per day with the help of the skilled team, the lab has also created opportunities for graduates and those who are pursuing careers in the field.

UK Health Minister Lord Bethell said: “The lab is part of Britain’s largest-ever network of diagnostic testing facilities and will support our strategy to stop the spread of the virus by helping us boost testing capacity and speed up turnaround times.”

The facility is the second Lighthouse Lab to be operated by PerkinElmer on behalf of the DHSC.

In October, PerkinElmer began the first of its Covid-19 testing operations in Newport, South Wales.

Apart from producing and operating facilities for the Lighthouse Lab network, the company delivers testing capabilities, equipment, and reagents to NHS Trusts across the country.