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Oncologica – the first UK genomic testing lab government approved for Day 2 and Day 8 testing

Oncologica, the world-leading cancer medicine and Covid-19 genomic sequencing laboratory was the first UK laboratory to receive approval by UKAS and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to perform Covid PCR testing requirements for the for day 2 and day 8 as part of the new requirements for Covid International travel certification.

Our high throughput laboratory can process up-to 40,000 Covid-19 tests per day, and underwent a rigorous audit by the DHSC and UKAS inspectors of our Oncology and Covid-19 PCR genomic testing processes for personalized cancer medicine and Covid-19 PCR testing /viral genomic sequencing.   

These testing capabilities are expediting the UK’s return to work and mitigating the risk of superspreading Covid-19 variants in the population. Our state-of-the-art precision cancer medicine genomic profiling services provide cancer patients with new therapeutic opportunities should standard treatment protocols such as chemotherapy prove inadequate.

Assessments were made of our laboratory’s patient sample collection process, interpretation of results methodologies, turnaround times, as well as an inspection of how we educate and train medical laboratory scientists and clinicians, and how we communicates and consults with health care professionals.

From February 15th, 2021, all international travellers to the UK from “red list” countries have been required to quarantine for 10 days and undergo a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) Covid-19 test, this is the gold standard for coronavirus detection. On days 2 and 8, if the traveller tests positive, then the sample must be sent to a government-approved lab for genomic sequencing. This is to alert health professionals to potential superspreading coronavirus variants e.g., the UK Kent, Brazilian and South African variants

“It is an honour to be the first UK laboratory Covid PCR test and release provider to achieve accreditation for our Covid-19 International travel testing service. At Oncologica, we are committed to achieving and maintaining the highest standard of quality and service in all aspects of our laboratory testing,” said Dr Marco Loddo, Co-Founder and Scientific Director at Oncologica.

“This commitment is underpinned by the hard work of our entire quality, bioscience and administration teams which has resulted in our achieving this approval.”

“We are immensely proud of Oncologica achieving government approval as the first UK genomic testing laboratory in the UK placed on the Governments provider list to undertake day 2 and day 8  Covid-19 PCR testing for travel which is no mean feat.” said Professor Gareth Williams, Co-Founder and Medical Director at Oncologica.

“We are committed to providing a first-class genetic testing service to all our clinical partners, patients, business community and the general public, and we demonstrate the highest quality standards whether it is for improving cancer treatment opportunities for patients or for Covid-19 testing across the community. Covid-19 testing is being undertaken for businesses, offices, factories, educational institutions, and transport networks facilitating a safe return to work and enabling people to travel.

On receipt of our Coronofocus© self-sampling PCR kits, we extract the RNA genetic material and copy it into DNA. Now if the virus is there, it is in a DNA form. We put it into a PCR reaction (Polymerase Chain Reaction) and take short snippets of DNA and match these to the virus DNA.

If we find the virus DNA, we start a chemical reaction that copies the virus again and again. We then look at the sample copies. If there is no reaction, then no virus is detected. The Oncologica Covid-19 PCR test is very specific, and sensitive. If the Oncologica test finds it, you can believe it.

“We understand the importance of our medical genomic laboratory to patient care. Therefore, for those who use our Oncofocus© cancer and Coronofocus© Covid PCR tests, this accreditation gives added assurance that our testing is performed to the highest standards for rapid and accurate results,” added Dr Marco Loddo.  

 

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