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Back to News Chris Yates & Chris Hand from Abingdon Health with Mark Wilcockson from the British Business Bank

14th September 2020

Bio science company begins manufacturing rapid Covid-19 tests following expansion

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Northern Powerhouse Investment FundNPIF - Mercia Equity FinanceYork North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership

Following an expansion of its York headquarters, aided by a £1.5m investment from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance in 2019, Abingdon Health is working with Avacta Group plc to manufacture rapid Covid-19 tests.

Following a recent expansion of its headquarters, Abingdon Health has entered into an agreement with Avacta Group plc to manufacture rapid Covid-19 test strips. Using saliva, these strips indicate in a few minutes whether the patient is currently infected with SARS-Cov-2, the strain of coronavirus that causes Covid-19.

This announcement follows the company’s recent expansion of its presence at the York-based National Agri-Food Innovation Campus (NAFIC) by 42% in early 2020. This move has provided the company with the space and capabilities necessary to continue to drive forward rapid diagnostic testing innovation and create new jobs in the region.

This expansion was aided by a £1.5m investment from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund in January 2019, allowing the company to expand the business and pursue new growth opportunities.

Abingdon Health, which develops and manufactures rapid diagnostic tests, saw its revenue increase by 90% in 2019, due to several new contract wins and the development of its AppDx software, which was the catalyst for its recent expansion.

The products Abingdon Health manufactures are used in a wide range of industries, from infectious disease testing in GP clinics, to testing animal health on farms.

The company’s new facilities include an all-new quality-control laboratory which will be used for testing products ahead of their release, an additional research and development laboratory and assembly room along with space for meeting rooms and hosting clients.

Michael Hunter, operations director at Abingdon Health said: “Our new facilities will enable us to manufacture millions more Covid-19 tests each month, as well as giving us the ability to invest in our York based team and continue to meet the increasing demand for our services.

“As a company at the forefront of rapid diagnostic innovation, Yorkshire provides access to some of the brightest minds and great collaboration opportunities with universities and organisations on our doorstep. Also, York is a fantastic place to live, offering a good quality of life for our employees.

“NAFIC has been a great base for us for the past 10 years as we’ve benefited from its vital services including building management and security, in addition to specialist science facilities such as water filtration and lab support.

“We’ve also made full use of amenities such as an on-site gym, restaurant and conference spaces within the Lakeside Conference Centre. The campus team have always been flexible, especially when it comes to our continued requests for more space, with this our third expansion on the site.”

Liz Cashon, innovation campus manager at NAFIC, said: “Abingdon Health has embarked on an impressive journey since it came to the campus 10 years ago and the success it has seen in the last year is reflected in the booming bioscience sector in Yorkshire.

“Facilities are the foundation which innovation is built upon and we understand these SMEs need flexibility and access to outstanding resources on site in order to continue their growth. Abingdon Health is the perfect example of this.”

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

Enterprise Ventures Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 183363).  EV Business Loans Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 443560).

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