Last Saturday, the Prime Minister toured QuantuMDx in Newcastle, the site of the former Riverside nightclub. QuantuMDx is using a £16 million Government grant to develop a portable coronavirus test capable of providing results in 30 minutes. According to chief executive Jonathan O’Halloran, Q-POC testing machines will provide “the diagnostic silver bullet for hospital triage” by allowing hospital patients to be tested on arrival. After touring the facility, Johnson described the Q-POC machine as “a wonderful piece of technology”.
On the same day, Johnson visited Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies in Teesside. The Fujifilm site aims to produce up to 180 million doses of the Novavax coronavirus vaccine. Currently in Phase 3 of clinical trials, the Novavax vaccine has been shown to be 89.3% effective in preventing coronavirus. Boris Johnson, reflecting on his trip to the region, stated that the North East “showcases some of the very best of British science and manufacturing”.