Coronavirus antibody test produced in Pencoed

An antibody test produced in Pencoed is being used throughout the UK to tell whether people have had coronavirus.

Ortho Clinical Diagnostics is one of a number of companies to produce the antibody tests for the UK having responded to a call to action to help with the coronavirus response from the First Minister and Life Sciences Hub Wales.

Ortho which has been based in Wales for 40 years employs more than 500 people at its site in Pencoed and produces millions of tests each week for a wide range of disease states and medical conditions for distribution globally.

Working in partnership with Public Health Wales, Ortho will provide its Covid-19 assays to support Covid-19 testing across Wales. The tests can detect antibodies that can be used to identify an immune response.

Paul Hales, senior director of operations at Ortho, said: “We have built a deep manufacturing expertise here in Wales over many years enabling us to produce these important products. The team has been working day and night to reach a mass scale of production of our Covid-19 assays. At Ortho, we believe every test is a life and are proud to see these kits being used in Wales.”

Paul Hackworth, Ortho managing director UK, added: “We are delighted to be working with Public Health Wales and Welsh Government to play our part in the overall testing strategy for Wales.

“We were one of the first in vitro diagnostics providers to step up to this unique challenge and are proud that our Covid-19 antibody tests will provide a flexible, reliable solution for the Welsh Government to maximise the effectiveness of their approach.”

The Leader, Cllr Huw David said “I am delighted to see a Pencoed-based company perform such a critical role in ongoing efforts to combat Covid-19.

“With its proven capabilities and expertise in infectious disease testing, Ortho was quickly identified as a firm which could help lead the way with these vital tests.

“Antibody testing is an important part of the strategy to counter the spread of the virus – I’d like to thank all the company’s staff for their commitment and efforts in producing such essential products at this time.”