London universities join forces to ramp up COVID-19 testing

Leading life sciences universities in London have come together to respond to the current COVID-19 pandemic with the launch of the ‘Testing Alliance’ to offer 20,500 extra tests a day.

The Testing Alliance, created by life sciences cluster MedCity, brings together universities, healthcare institutes, industry and pathology service providers.

Together, they will utilise unused resources and build on existing infrastructure to offer at least 20,500 extra tests a day for COVID-19 across the new few months and into next year.

The Alliance will use existing university and hospital laboratories and launch new laboratories to deliver large-scale diagnostic capabilities. Institutions involved in the alliance include Health Service Laboratories, UCL, King’s Health Partners, Imperial College London and Queen Mary University of London.

“We work to create powerful scientific networks and we’re proud that the latest collaboration we’ve brought together will help expand capacity for COVID-19 testing in the UK,” said Neelam Patel, chief executive of MedCity.

“By using a well-established academic cluster, we are able to mobilise London’s world-leading institutions to refocus their space, equipment and people on this most pressing and unprecedented healthcare need,” she added.

“I would like to thank everyone at the alliance of London Universities and NHS Test and Trace who has worked so hard to make this partnership happen. It is another great example of different parts of the country coming together to tackle the virus,” added Baroness Dido Harding, interim executive chair of the National Institute for Health Protection.

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