Rako Science and Analytica Laboratories announced today a strategic relationship encompassing research and testing for COVID-19 to expand capacity and capability for New Zealand’s COVID-19 response.
Rako Science has a license for the first validated and accredited COVID-19 saliva test in New Zealand which is based on the University of Illinois Shield test.
“Our science team has established significant international research connections and quickly built-up valuable knowledge in epidemiological modelling and molecular testing. We recognise that Analytica has similar capabilities that are deployed and proven at scale in New Zealand,” Rako Chief Science Officer, Dr Stephen Grice said.
Analytica General Manager, Andrew Fear welcomes the announcement of the relationship, which represents several months of work between the 2 organisations. “As a proven provider of high throughput testing and commercial R&D we are excited to have a part in supporting New Zealanders to deliver world class and affordable COVID-19 testing solutions”.
The relationship includes the development and sharing of intellectual property and standard operating procedures for laboratories that enable COVID-19 PCR testing at scale.
Dr Stephen Grice, Chief Science Officer of Rako Science said New Zealand leads the world in testing technologies and Analytica is at the forefront of delivering these services at large scale to a very high standard.
“Together we can leverage our joint capabilities to build nationwide services to increase the tools available to protect New Zealanders from COVID-19,” Dr Grice said.
The relationship takes effect immediately.
Rako Science was established with the aim of rolling out asymptomatic COVID-19 testing at scale in New Zealand. The Rako saliva test is being made available for New Zealand businesses to support their COVID-19 defences. The test is non-invasive, self-administered and cost competitive. It does not require a health professional to administer and does not draw on public health resources. The test eliminates the risk of COVID-19 infection of healthcare workers as they are not involved in the collection process and greatly simplifies infection control from collection to laboratory processing.
Analytica is an accredited independent testing laboratory based in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin with extensive involvement in high throughput testing using automation and a wide range of modern analytical equipment. Testing for COVID-19 through molecular (PCR) techniques fits with Analytica’s experience in conducting large scale laboratory operations, which already include PCR testing as an accredited capability.