SureScreen lands deal for millions of rapid Covid tests
Derby’s SureScreen Diagnostics has secured an order from the Government for millions of Covid-19 rapid antigen tests.
The firm is to supply two million lateral flow tests, capable of providing results in under 30 minutes, by this Friday – with the potential to provide millions more in the coming months.
Manufactured in Derby, they will be used to provide asymptomatic testing via local authorities throughout the UK, as part of the Government’s Community Testing Programme.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “It is excellent to be working with a UK firm to deliver millions of these rapid tests, which are being deployed across the country to help protect our communities and most vital public services.”
David Campbell, director of SureScreen, said: “We believe our rapid antigen tests can really help in screening people both in the community and in clinical settings.”
Under the Government’s Winter Plan, NHS Test and Trace is already deploying hundreds of thousands of rapid tests to identify asymptomatic cases in care homes, across the NHS, in critical infrastructure workplaces and food manufacturers, and in partnership with local Directors of Public Health.
Mr Hancock said: “Roughly one in three people with Covid-19 don’t display symptoms, meaning you can infect others unknowingly.
“This is why asymptomatic testing is so crucial in our fight against the virus, and why I’m so grateful to see the British diagnostics industry use their ingenuity and expertise in our shared purpose to protect our communities.”
Baroness Dido Harding, interim executive chair of the National Institute for Health Protection, said: “I am really pleased that we have been able to work with SureScreen to ensure we have a British supplier for this vital testing technology.
“Lateral Flow Tests are playing an ever-increasing role in our testing programme as we continue to expand testing to find positive cases amongst those without symptoms.
“Having a British manufacturer provides greater certainty that we will be able to continue to grow our supply of these important tests.”
Mr Campbell said: “Routine testing is crucial to help business and schools as well as hospitals and GPs.
“We are delighted to be working with the Department of Health and Social Care on this project and that our tests have been recognised by the Government and its scientists.
“We look forward to doing all we can to help the UK going forward in 2021.”