Empowering employees and examining emerging health threats in a new strategy for business growth is Novacyt CEO David Allmond’s mission in the weeks ahead
Since taking the helm at Novacyt six months ago, David has been transforming Novacyt, from its concentration on meeting customer demands for COVID-19 testing to expanding the business portfolio to capture a more significant share of the life sciences and clinical diagnostics markets.
Providing an effective response to infectious diseases
The overall aim is to be a leading global diagnostics company focused on unmet needs in infectious diseases. “The core strength of the company is infectious diseases and we have demonstrated our ability for agile response – not just to COVID but also to Ebola, Zika, Swine Flu and others.”
“I have a passion for human health. I want all our employees to have a shared purpose beyond just making products to know that we are making clinical diagnostics that protect lives enabling informed decision-making, either for a clinical intervention or a public health response.”
When David joined Novacyt as Chief Executive Officer last October, the company had a proven track record in COVID-19 diagnostics, stemming from their development of the first CE-marked COVID-19 PCR test in Europe, in early 2020. Now, his task is to lead the company beyond COVID-19, whilst maintaining their responsiveness to SARS-CoV-2 and any new variants of concern.
His strategy for growth post-COVID-19 is three-pronged:
- Developing novel in vitro diagnostics in human health
- Building on Novacyt’s heritage to supply research laboratories and academic institutions with diagnostics innovation across multiple pathogens spanning the veterinary, water, food, and human health sectors
- Developing Novacyt’s integrated instrumentation workflows – both for research and clinical diagnostics.
Testing mobility through the needs of the pandemic
Coping with the fast-changing needs of the pandemic also fuelled Novacyt’s expansion of near-to-patient testing and mobile instrumentation – something that now stands it in good stead for meeting future challenges from emerging infectious diseases. Close partnerships with the World Health Organization and UNICEF, plus its own bio surveillance and ongoing research, give Novacyt the foresight to anticipate future need in a world with evolving health challenges.
The growth strategy for Novacyt includes fresh focus on several human health sectors:
- Respiratory diseases beyond COVID-19, including influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
- Gastro-intestinal infections – currently resurging as society opens after COVID-19 and a particular threat to institutions with mass habitants like ships, prisons and care homes
- Transplantation – testing for viral load to monitor risk of rejection post-transplant
- Insect-borne viruses such as Yellow Fever, Zika, West Nile fever, Dengue, and chikungunya fever
“Novacyt will maintain its ability as a first-responder to infectious diseases, and continue innovation in products and instrumentation to support patients and clinicians on the frontline, wherever in the world they might be,” said David.
Growth and expansion for Novacyt
Geographical expansion has also been a recent evolution for Novacyt. From being essentially a UK-based business serving the UK, demands for COVID-19 testing elsewhere meant 55% of Novacyt’s business during 2021 was international.
Novacyt has invested in strengthening the commercial team in Europe, North and South America, and in the global accounts team looking after Asia Pacific. “More and more of our business growth will come from overseas, whilst we continue to serve our UK customers,” he said.
One of the company’s challenges as it transitions to a more diverse portfolio post-COVID is the fast-changing regulatory industry, particularly the new In Vitro Diagnostic Regulation (IVDR) in Europe, which came into effect this May. This new directive has clearer obligations for those involved in research and development, manufacturing and supplying IVDs, across the EEA– something David says Novacyt is well-placed to provide.
“We have the infrastructure in the company, from our clinical research, regulatory and product quality group, to manage this increased clinical and regulatory complexity,” he said, adding that Novacyt can remain competitive in the marketplace.
“I want Novacyt to leave a legacy in healthcare – to have made a difference to how the world tackles infectious diseases,” he said. “I believe people at Novacyt share that passion. We want to deliver frontline clinical diagnostics to enable informed decision-making that impacts patients’ lives.”
“We’ve been transitioning at breakneck speed, to diversify the business, but this is a mid-sized ship, not a speedboat, and although we’ve altered course, it takes time to head in a different direction.” – David Allmond, CEO of Novacyt.
Novacyt’s mobile solution includes the VersaLab Mobile Laboratory featuring the highly-sensitive, compact, and light qPCR instruments (genesig q16 and q32 qPCR instruments) and its PROmate direct-to-PCR assays enable onsite testing, bringing tests near to the patient.
The MyGo range of qPCR instruments runs on open platform, offering mobile and rapid diagnostics testing on the frontline.
Please note: This is a commercial profile
© 2019. This work is licensed under CC-BY-NC-ND.
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The Novacyt Group – a specialist diagnostic solutions provider within the healthcare industry
The Novacyt Group offer an increasing portfolio of in-vitro diagnostic tests, utilising molecular and protein detection technologies.
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