Prenetics EMEA is a global health technology company specialising in diagnostic and genetic testing. Their mission is to decentralise the healthcare system with portable, cost-effective solutions. Allowing their users to enjoy personalised digital health tracking with a simple DNA swab.
The end of 2019 signalled a new era in virus prevention and control. Covid-19 brought respiratory infections to record levels globally, forcing governments to increase their testing capacities. Prenetics EMEA formed part of this new initiative, becoming one of the first UKAS-accredited testing providers in Britain. Consequently, their new Greenwich lab would prove crucial in the fight against this illusive virus.
It's estimated Prenetics processed over 10,000 antigen & antibody tests per week during its peak months. That's almost 1430 tests per day. To manage these numbers a robust operating procedure and state-of-the-art biosafety cabinets are needed to meet demands. However, our engineers would have only three days to deliver, install and commission any proposed units.
The facility is designed to process simple genetic tests to track the scale of infection. So, in terms of equipment, we’re talking about standard biosafety cabinets, although we do equip our units with ULPA filters, 304L stainless steel work surfaces and a 9-inch touchscreen control panel.
We delivered 12 biosafety cabinets to the Greenwich lab, accompanied by seven mobile workbenches, ten drawers and ten base units. The Biosafety cabinets each measure 1200mm wide and are built using 100% virgin medical grade welded polypropylene. As an added precaution, we used TRESPA laminated surfaces on the storage units.
Delivering, installing, and commissioning twelve biosafety cabinets in seven days is no easy feat. The logistical challenges alone are daunting. To overcome these obstacles, our delivery teams and project managers work together to ensure delivery routes, building access requirements and lab space are optimised. This involves regular site visits and conservations with senior project stakeholders. Although the Greenwich location is easily accessible by train (via London Underground), accessing the site with a commercial lorry is notoriously difficult.
Let’s not forget the delivery took place during Covid’s peak, so safety procedures and PPE played a significant role in keeping staff safe.
Installing the Biosafety cabinets was relatively simple. Biosafety cabinets by design are usually ductless, with built-in filters to capture airborne particles. So began the process to offload and position the cabinets inside the premises. The facility contains two separate labs, one for test processing and the other for biological analysis. Test processing required seven units, with analysis requiring 5. However, it’s important to note that whenever you install a new fume cupboard or biosafety cabinet, it’s a legal obligation to commission every unit. Ensuring all commissioning certificates and documentation are stored securely for future reference. Needless to say, we performed all the necessary KI-Discus, DOP, and airflow tests to calibrate the products.
Even after the installation and commissioning process is complete, safety remains a paramount issue in modern laboratories. So, we worked with Prenetics to develop an online asset register that recorded cabinet location, product serial numbers, tests performed and future commissioning dates, allowing staff to monitor their servicing information online. This forms part of our Biosafety Service package, with contract lengths ranging from one, two or three years.
We won't sugar-coat it. Purchasing a biosafety cabinet can be incredibly challenging, but challenging is where TION excels. Our project managers remove the headache of biosafety selection and installation, essentially managing the entire process for you. From concept to completion, you can rest assured that when you choose TION, you’re choosing a company that cares. All it takes is one simple click.