Dr John Tyson, head of the North East Innovation Lab reflects on the highlights and challenges of the last three years.
It’s hard to believe it’s been three years since our team of scientists arrived in an empty lab in the midst of the pandemic to set up the North East Innovation Lab.
We began working at pace to accelerate the development of new diagnostic tests to market to protect life during the pandemic.
Now three years on and we’ve reached a major milestone. We find ourselves adapting to the end of the pandemic and challenges in the market. But it’s an exciting time and there’s lots of opportunities for innovation to make an impact on the challenges that healthcare faces.
We’ve begun expanding our portfolio and focusing our expertise in developing diagnostic tests for patients with chronic long-term conditions, as well as tests people can administer themselves, giving them more control over their healthcare.
Our focus remains on accelerating new tests through the development pathway.
A large part of innovation is widening access which is as important as bringing out something brand new. We want to enable as many people as possible to access diagnostic tests, which are a vital part of healthcare systems.
Perhaps the biggest change for the industry in the last year has been the European Union’s InVitro Diagnostic Medical Device Regulation (IVDR) which continues to roll out. We are supporting more and more developers in meeting these new requirements.
We know that small and medium-sized companies may have limited resources to devote to the stringent regulatory process required under the new law.
We want to continue to push forwards and expand our services even further, so we can support even more IVD products coming to market, for patients in this country and beyond.
Our team offers a range of responsive specialist services covering everything needed to scientifically evaluate and validate diagnostics for regulatory approval.
From our state-of-art facilities in The Biosphere, part of the life science quarter Newcastle Helix, we provide a range of specialist services including an extensive biobank of tissue and liquid samples archived and available by request; diagnostic performance evaluation and laboratory services.
This year our sister lab Novopath moved to The Biosphere where we are now co-located enabling us to work together to support our clients in the best way.
Our work wouldn’t be possible without collaboration and we want to thank all of our partners and clients including Diagnostics North East, our network of organisations supporting the development, evaluation and adoption of diagnostics, and Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria for their support over the last three years.
The lab team are attending the Diagnostics North East conference on April 19 and will be both exhibiting and presenting there.