Beckman Coulter’s Irish site in Co Clare is manufacturing a key serology product (assay) in the fight against COVID-19 while the company has confirmed they have a number of open positions.
The Immunoglobin G (IgG) serology test is already being manufactured and is now available in all countries accepting FDA Emergency Use Only (EUO) and is now CE marked.
The company has also announced plans to hire at least 30 new staff. It currently employs 407 people in Ireland and has recently completed a significant expansion of its Tulla facility.
Antibody testing, also known as serology testing, can be a vital tool for determining who has already been infected and might have immunity to a virus. Serology testing measures a person’s levels of antibodies, created as an immune response to an invader.
The testing does not detect the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus itself, but rather detects the antibodies that are, or were, produced as part of the body’s natural response to fight the infection. These tests can be used to try and better quantify the number of cases of COVID-19, including those individuals who may be asymptomatic or have since recovered.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) there are three cases for serology tests:
They could one day help support decision making as to whether people can return to work
They could determine the people who may qualify for a vaccination once it is available
They could identify individuals who have recovered to see if they can donate plasma that may be used as a treatment for people with severe forms of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
Beckman Coulter recently announced a partnership with Lenco Labs in the US to bring tens of thousands of these tests to New York.
Site Director Orlaith Lawler said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to contribute to the world-wide fight against COVID-19. We are very proud of our employees who have been working around the clock, across multiple BC sites and time zones to bring these tests so quickly to the market.
“Serology testing is a key tool to address important issues as we look to open up the economy, return to work, prepare for a vaccine and move past this pandemic.
“While it is not known if IgG antibodies offer lasting SARS-CoV-2 immunity, the IgG-specific test can provide important information regarding individual and population immunity levels. Since SARS-CoV-2 is a new virus, we are still learning how our immune response works against COVID-19 and exactly how long antibodies last.”
Beckman Coulter has also announced it has a number of open positions.
Ms Lawler added: “We are delighted to add that the site currently has 30-plus open positions. These roles are the result of the significant investment into expanding the facility over the last two years.
“These offer prospective employees the opportunity to get involved in some very exciting projects and initiatives from their start up. Here they will influence and shape the success of these new business areas while growing their careers at Beckman Coulter.”
*Interested candidates can apply directly at https://www.beckmancoulter.com/en/about-beckman-coulter/careers