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The Tecan in use at Sygnature's labs

Sygnature provides equipment to Government’s COVID-19 testing efforts

Sygnature Group is supporting the Government’s COVID-19 testing strategy with the loan of a key piece of equipment. The machine, a Tecan Freedom EVO 100, will be used to help automate and accelerate the analysis of samples at the first of the UK Government’s new Lighthouse Labs in Milton Keynes.

The state-of-the-art liquid handling machine is designed to automate the pipetting of multiple samples in laboratories undertaking biological testing. The EVO 100 is considerably faster than manual pipetting, increasing the speed at which assays can be run and enhancing sample through-put. The equipment also facilitates better assay reproducibility and allows resources and testing equipment to be used more efficiently.

The Prime Minister’s Office approached Dr Simon Hirst, Sygnature’s Founder and CEO, just before Easter and arrangements were swiftly put in place for the Government to collect the EVO 100 on the morning of the 15th April 2020. At Sygnature we normally use the machine in our high-throughput chemistry group to support the synthesis of our corporate compound collection. For the moment, the chemical library work at Sygnature has been scaled down to focus resources on our client programs.

As well as supporting the UK Government’s COVID-19 testing efforts, we are also putting our drug discovery know-how to work to support the fight against the coronavirus. We have a number of active programmes working with UK-based academics, including the design and synthesis of novel compounds against COVID-19 and the metabolic evaluation of potential drug-like molecules. We have set up an in-house team of expert drug-hunters to contribute to solving this global pandemic and we are also in discussions with charities and biotechs about how we can apply our anti-viral drug discovery expertise. The scientific community obviously has a key role to play in finding solutions to battle the coronavirus and COVID-19 and we’re very keen to play any part we can to support.

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