A COVID-19 antibody test being developed in Rhondda Cynon Taf is set to be introduced throughout the UK.

Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, of Pencoed, which is situated in the Brynna ward of Rhondda Cynon Taf, is among a number of firms worldwide producing the test.

Councillor Robert Bevan, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Development and Housing, said: “I am delighted to see a company based within our County Borough leading the way in the fight against COVID-19.

“The country is in the midst of a national crisis, which has already claimed countless lives and affected thousands more. Antibody testing is vital as we continue to trace and track who has had this virus.

“This will form an integral part of the national fight against the coronavirus by providing important information and helping to identify as many people who have contracted the virus as possible, including those who may not even know that they had it.

“It is wonderful that we have the technology and expertise here in Rhondda Cynon Taf which enables us to do this, and I send my best wishes and thanks to all the staff at Ortho Clinical Diagnostics during these unprecedented times.”

Ortho Clinical Diagnostics - an American-based company which has had a presence in Wales for more than 40 years - is able to produce millions of antibody tests each week at peak production.

The blood test looks for antibodies to see if a person has already had the coronavirus and might now have some immunity. It is hoped the antibody will be able to trace how many people in a population have been exposed to the virus at some stage.

Paul Hales, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics site director in Wales, said the tests not only ensure accuracy, but can also be processed very quickly, with a potential to test hundreds of samples every hour.

Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, which has been working with Public Health Wales and Public Health England, usually produces millions of diagnostics tests for a wide range of conditions, including heart disease and cancer.


Posted on Wednesday 27th May 2020