Electrolux Professional’s SkyLine combi ovens have been put to work in handling Covid-19 patient samples at the Cambridge Lighthouse Laboratory.
Biotechnology firm BiologIC Technologies collaborated with AstraZeneca and the foodservice equipment manufacturer to implement a high-throughput solution for heat inactivation for the samples. This solution renders the virus non-infectious, enhancing the safety, sustainability and scalability of the testing process.
The Cambridge Lighthouse Laboratory, established by AstraZeneca, the University of Cambridge and GlaxoSmithKline, and subsequently partnering with Charles River Laboratories, was part of NHS Test and Trace’s network of Lighthouse laboratories which provides population-wide diagnostic testing.
BiologIC, AstraZeneca and Electrolux Professional combined bioscience and thermal expertise to implement a production-ready heat inactivation solution in this safety-critical process. Rigorous validation demonstrated inactivation of the Covid-19 virus whilst maintaining the accuracy of diagnostic testing.
Alberto Zanata, CEO of Electrolux Professional said: “With the advanced technology of the SkyLine combi oven, we support yet another milestone in fighting the pandemic that is affecting people and businesses around the world. We are very proud to play a role in safeguarding the process of handling the Covid-19 samples, to protect all people involved in testing.”
Richard Vellacott, CEO of BiologIC Technologies commented: “Combined with vaccines, diagnostic testing will be critical to re-mobilising our local, national and international communities, particularly as new strains of Covid-19 continue to evolve. We were pleased to identify, validate and support implementation of this solution to greatly enhance the safety, cost-effectiveness and scalability of Covid-19 diagnostic testing.”
While Steve Rees, VP of discovery biology, R&D, at AstraZeneca added: “Our collaborative innovative solution enables virus inactivation upon receipt at the laboratory allowing work on the open bench, which simplifies the workflow, reduces the risk of employee exposure to live virus, and facilitates future innovations around automation of the sample unpackaging process.”