Rapid Labs have been awarded an £80,000 grant from Tendring District Council to increase production capacity at their biomedical facility in Little Bentley.

The grant has contributed towards the cost of a new ISO 8 clean room facility, which is primarily being used for the manufacture and development of a novel RNA stabiliser and virus inactivation medium in partnership with RNAssist Ltd. This reagent, virusPHIX+™ is currently being evaluated by several institutes including PHE, Alderley Park Lighthouse Lab and the Roslin Institute for its suitability as a home testing sample collection medium for SARS-COV-2. Preliminary studies have shown that virusPHIX+™ is capable of inactivating SARS-COV-2 RNA within 10 minutes at a sample to reagent ratio of as little as 1:1. Other independent studies have also demonstrated that the SARS-COV-2 RNA is stabilised for up to 33 days when stored at 20⁰C, indicating great potential for safer handling and transport of large volumes of samples.

‘Receiving the matched funding grant from Tendring District Council has been a great help and we would like to thank them for their support’ said Ian Christopher, CEO of Rapid Labs. ‘This grant has been put to great use by enabling us to develop this novel reagent to aid in the COVID-19 testing challenge, both nationally and internationally. Our workforce has also increased by 20% which is a brilliant achievement during what is a difficult time for many businesses. We have been resourceful and proactive in our response against the COVID-19 pandemic, from producing WHO-formulation hand sanitiser using local suppliers of ethanol to developing new solutions as part of the ongoing healthcare challenges worldwide, one of which being virusPHIX+™. It is a very exciting time for the company, and I would like to thank all of the Rapid Labs team for the hard work and dedication over the past very challenging few months.’


Rapid Labs are a manufacturer and supplier of medical diagnostic products and laboratory consumables with customers in over 100 countries. A member of BIVDA, BSI and ISO 9001 and 13485 certified, they provide affordable healthcare solutions around the world.