The University of Bedfordshire and Life Science Group are to collaborate to improve the testing method for Covid-19

Life Science Group Ltd has been awarded £50,000 to complete research into a process that “inactivates the virus” immediately after swab samples are taken from patients.

A successful application by a local company, Life Science Group Ltd (LSG), together with the University of Bedfordshire has resulted in 50,000GBP of funding from Innovate UK to complete a research project to improve Covid-19 testing.

The research project follows a national call from Innovate UK to develop innovative methodologies to help combat Covid-19.

LSG and the University are to develop a testing method for Covid-19 that inactivates the virus immediately after the swab sample is taken from patients. This will stop virus in the samples from being infectious and will therefore reduce the risk to workers from when the sample is taken, through transport, to testing in laboratories. In turn, this will also increase the speed of which tests can be done, since more localised facilities will be able to run test samples.

Early validation to determine the effectiveness of the initial formulation has been completed in collaboration with Public Heath England (PHE).

This six-month project will further develop the formulation to ensure that the Viral Inactivation Buffer is safe to use and will also validate the use of the product with the viral testing procedures currently in use. The project will also investigate the ability of the buffer to stabilise samples and produce more consistent testing results.

Dr Robin Maytum, Principal Lecturer in Biomedical Science at the University, will provide the scientific lead on the 50,000GBP collaborative research project.

Dr Maytum explained: “The development and validation of a Viral Inactivation Buffer is a key aim in improving testing.

“It should eliminate the risks in handling otherwise potentially infectious samples and reduce the number of false negatives in current testing. This will be increasingly important as reliable testing within communities becomes the cornerstone of controlling the spread of the virus.”

Jenny Murray, Managing Director of Life Science Group, said “The Company is delighted to have been successful with this application and to be able to work with University of Bedfordshire on this project.”

“We have been working with PHE since early April to supply tubes for sample collection and this next step will make a huge and immediate difference to how testing for Covid-19 is handled in this country and elsewhere. The entire Team at LSG is delighted that our work is making a difference.”

This research development is key to the success in monitoring and controlling Covid-19 infection throughout communities.

Professor Jan Domin, Executive Dean of Creative Arts, Technologies and Science, said: “We are extremely pleased to be collaborating with Life Science Group and Public Health England on this research project.

“The fight against Covid-19 is ongoing. This research would eliminate the risk of infection to those key workers who are taking samples, transporting samples and conducting tests to keep us all safe.

“The joint efforts of the University and Life Science Group to develop a novel Covid-19 Viral Inactivation Buffer will improve the safety of all NHS staff and key workers who are working on the frontline in the fight against this pandemic.”

ABOUT LIFE SCIENCE GROUP LTD

Life Science Group Ltd (LSG) is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of life science research

applications. An outstanding and independent UK company offering quality products and a first-

class customer service to leading pharma, biotech, contract research organisations and

universities worldwide. We offer our technical expertise and experience to provide traceable,

customisable solutions in the areas of Life Science Production, Antibody Production Services and

Diagnostic Kit Services, and to ensure all requirements are met with integrity and backed by our

ISO 13485 accreditation.

ABOUT UNIVERSITY OF BEDFORDSHIRE

  1. The University of Bedfordshire is a vibrant and diverse university with 25,000 students from more than 100 countries. It has two main campuses in Luton and Bedford, but is also active in Aylesbury, Milton Keynes, Birmingham and London, as well as globally, with a growing portfolio of international partnerships as far afield as Myanmar, Egypt, Vietnam, Oman and Mauritius.
  2. It is a forward-looking university with a clear mission to widen access to higher education, nurturing students to become creative self-starters and global citizens with the drive and ambition to make a real difference.
  3. Professor Rebecca Bunting was appointed Vice Chancellor in October 2020.
  4. The University’s £40m STEM building at its Luton campus opened in September 2019 and forms part of a five-year investment to re-generate the University’s estates totalling £180m. This included its Postgraduate and CPD centre on the Luton campus, the stunning teaching and learning Gateway building at its Bedford campus, and a seven-floor library in Luton.
  5. Some of the University’s accolades include: Silver in TEF (the Teaching Excellence Framework), ranking eighth in the People and Planet University Green League, holder of Eco Campus Platinum award (2021), and a top 250 University under 50 years old according to the Times Higher University World Rankings.
  6. For further information about the University of Bedfordshire, or to receive press releases on a regular basis, please contact: press.office@beds.ac.uk or 01582 489 399.

For further information please contact Stephen Thomason at Agora Marketing Communications Ltd on 0116 230 4967 or email steve@agoramc.co.uk

Or

Jenny Murray at Life Science Group Ltd on 01234 889180 or email

jennymurray@lifesciencegroup.co.uk

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