DNA and drug testing firm AlphaBiolabs has expanded its laboratory operations to meet growing demand with a £500,000 investment programme.
The Warrington-based company, which carries out DNA relationship and workplace drug and alcohol testing, has boosted capacity and extended its range of services with the installation of new laboratory equipment.
This includes additional advanced instrumentation for analysing drug and alcohol test samples.
AlphaBiolabs has also installed new generation DNA analysers. These enable the company to increase the number of markers examined in DNA tests to from 21 to 25 as standard, with the option of extending this to 62 markers for complex cases.
AlphaBiolabs managing director David Thomas said: “The new DNA instrumentation enables us to conduct more complex relationship tests using the very latest chemistries, and to reduce the industry standard rate of inconclusiveness for certain relationships from approximately 40 per cent to below 10 per cent.
“For workplace drug and alcohol samples, we can now offer an industry first with same-day test results, which is better for clients who may have suspended employees on full pay, as it means cases are resolved quicker.
“Investing heavily in our laboratories and driving innovation are essential to our growth strategy, to ensure we can meet the demand of our customers who require rapid DNA or drug and alcohol testing services.”
To support its expansion, AlphaBiolabs has strengthened its scientific team based at its Warrington laboratories.
The recruits include Harriet Challenger to the new role of laboratory manager to oversee the growing DNA and toxicology teams.
Harriet has more than 20 years’ experience in the forensic field. Her previous roles include ones at the Forensic Science Service, Heinz and pharmaceuticals giant Sanofi.
David said: “Harriet is a respected scientist whose extensive sector experience makes her the ideal person to take up the new position of laboratory manager.
“She combines people management skills with knowledge of method development and experience of working in an ISO 17025 accredited environment.
“We believe this is a fantastic combination to support AlphaBiolabs through our current and future expansion.”
The other new recruits are DNA reporting scientist Dave Beesley, DNA laboratory scientist Claire Nicholson, toxicology analyst Stephanie Sherwood and toxicology administrator Kirsty Shaw.
David said: “We are delighted to welcome all of our new laboratory team members as we prepare the business for future growth, including the expanding DNA testing market here and in the United States, coupled with increased demand for workplace drug and alcohol testing in the UK.”