fbpx Yourgene Health plc - Home
002-news.jpg
004-news.jpg
003-news.jpg
DSC00185r.jpg
001-news.jpg
previous arrow
next arrow

The diagnostic testing business has always been dynamic and opportunistic, but nothing could have stretched the definition of these 2 words like a pandemic.

Since the launch of Yourgene Genomic Services 6 months into this global pandemic – born from a legacy, well established NIPT service laboratory, a modest acquisition, and an unprecedented national genomic testing demand, we have vastly expanded our testing capacity by converting every spare inch of underutilised office space created by remote working into high specification diagnostic laboratories capable of handling >15,000 pathogenic samples a day.

Sounds uncomplicated on paper. But what does this journey really look like?

Day 1 – Fascinated and curious. A chapter not one of us has ever experienced before, and as scientists, being at the forefront of understanding and supporting the control of the spread of a disease causing severe social and economic disruption, although unsettling, is captivating.

Month 1 – Moving quickly. Breaking the conventions on how testing regimes are typically launched, we introduce a new service into the market in a matter of weeks.

Month 6 – It’s not going away, lets plan for growth.  Regularly testing hundreds of samples a day, we become skilled in the service provision and take the unique position of being the first laboratory in the UK to offer SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing with our own CE-marked product and plan for growth. Knocking down walls, hiring more talent and investing in automation to build an efficient operation to cater for 1000+ samples a day, equating to a larger daily capacity than a laboratory of our size at the time would receive in months.

Another lockdown. Not anticipated, COVID-19 spreads like wildfire and the UK moves into 4 to 5 months of tiered to complete isolation. The DHSC and UKAS provide governance and structure for the hundreds of laboratories offering COVID-19 testing services in the UK steering our efforts into compliance, audits and various due diligence hurdles from the government never seen before. We adapt to the rapidly evolving and new regulatory requirements for PCR testing. Soon to follow, alarming new variants of the virus arise and a national request for genome sequencing services calls. As one of the handful of laboratories in the UK with Next Generation Sequencing capability (a complex genetic technology) we step up to the challenge, this time launching the service in just a matter of days!! Remembering only 6 months ago launching a much simpler service within weeks was uncharacteristic. 

Yet uncertain at every month where our place is in the market, we wait.

Year 1 – Preparing for something, but what? A year into the pandemic with almost half spent in isolation the UK looks to open international doors. Let’s prepare the laboratory, but what are we preparing for? Numerous executive discussions and options are proposed, and we take what we believe is the most opportunistic yet de-risked approach to supply the demand by holding our capacity while poising ourselves for growth if the demand arrives.

Summer #2 – Madness! The UK borders fully open up and the world demands safety in PCR testing and new variant surveillance. Now rubber stamped as an ISO15189 Medical Laboratory and Service Provider we offer an assured service to airports, pharmacies, clinics and retailers. At peak we receive over 15,000 samples a day!! 15,000 samples a day! That’s more tests received in a normal year in one day. Mind-blowing.

Each day calls for a transformative decision, out-of-box ideas arise several times a day during our now 24 hours a day, 7 days a week operation. Innovation becomes an hourly mantra. We knock down more walls. We reconfigure our laboratories. For those of you that have never worked in a laboratory, changes take weeks of design, months of construction, followed by weeks to months of validation. We do this 5 times…in 8 weeks!

We use robotics never used in the genomics testing space. Weeks later we start to work with the manufacturer to adapt their novel robotics to provide further customised capabilities.

A community of talent grows, the team - a jump from 15 to 75 staff - becomes a family, seeing people unlock potential they never even knew they had. And we see this daily.

By the Autumn this becomes our conventional way of working. Ultra-dynamic and exceptionally opportunistic becomes the new norm in diagnostic services.

  • Ranger® Revolution - LightBench® Detect is here! - 20 June 2022 +

    Ranger® Revolution - LightBench® Detect is Here!

    The wait is over! Yourgene Health are proud to today reveal the Ranger® Revolution in the form of the LightBench® Detect; the latest addition to our Ranger® Technology portfolio. We’ve worked closely with our clinical laboratory partners to develop a size selection instrument that is optimised for improving the performance of liquid biopsy workflows, most notably non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT). The LightBench® Detect addresses a pressing need for NIPT

    Read More
  • Collaboration to Perform: Yourgene Microdeletions Plugin Accelerator - 24 May 2022 +

    Yourgene Health is today unveiling the Yourgene Microdeletions Plugin Accelerator phase, following a successful pilot project with LifeStrands Genomics. This Accelerator represents a new era in Yourgene’s approach to delivery of NIPT testing solutions, with a focus on ‘Collaboration to Perform’. Working as a partnership, rather than the traditional laboratory/manufacturer relationship, represents a shared commitment to ensuring high-quality and performance-driven testing, ultimately delivering better outcomes for patients.

    The Plugin has been designed for use with

    Read More
  • Exclusion criteria for NIPT explained - 15 February 2022 +

    The IONA ® test is a non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT) for pregnant women which estimates the risk of a fetus having Down’s syndrome (Trisomy 21), Edwards’ syndrome (Trisomy 18) and Patau’s syndrome (Trisomy 13). The test is performed by analysing cell-free placental-fetal DNA from a maternal blood sample. The test is suitable for women who are at least 10 weeks pregnant, prior to ten weeks there is a risk that there would be insufficient placental-fetal cell

    Read More
  • International Women and Girls in Science Day 2022 +

    Here at Yourgene Health, we are very proud that a large proportion of our genomic technologies and services business, including senior leadership and laboratory managers, are powerful women. We believe it is important to showcase the impressive range of talent we are lucky to have, including our women and girls in science.

    In light of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we would like to place a spotlight on a few members

    Read More
  • New Year, New Regulations - 19 January 2022 +

    The ‘New Year's resolution’ is a tradition almost all of us are familiar with, in which a person resolves to accomplish a personal goal, continue good habits or change undesirable ones all with the intention of self-improvement. A study of over 800 million activity data points on the exercise platform Strava found that today, January 19th, is the most common day for a New Year’s resolution to be abandoned ( 1 ). If you are reading this

    Read More
  • Behind the scenes: Adapting diagnostic services during a pandemic - 11 November 2021 +

    The diagnostic testing business has always been dynamic and opportunistic , but nothing could have stretched the definition of these 2 words like a pandemic.

    Since the launch of Yourgene Genomic Services 6 months into this global pandemic – born from a legacy, well established NIPT service laboratory, a modest acquisition, and an unprecedented national genomic testing demand, we have vastly expanded our testing capacity by converting every spare inch of underutilised office space created by remote

    Read More
  • Overprescribing within the NHS - 02 November 2021 +

    “Good for you, good for us but is it good for everybody?”
    Overprescribing within the NHS – October 2021


    The NHS is currently the 5th largest global employer; with over 1.3m employees and receiving around 10% of the UK Government’s annual spending. It is estimated that the NHS deals with 336 million ‘patient visits’ per year, - many of whom will receive some form of at least one ‘prescription’ per visit and at a current charge in

    Read More
  • The role genomics plays in relationships - 18 August 2021 +

    According to National Today, the website dedicated to highlighting every day celebrations and holidays, August 18 th is ‘National Couple’s Day’ – a day to celebrate the important relationships in life. Whilst not an official holiday or observance in any country, the clinical team at Yourgene Health wanted to use this opportunity to reflect upon the pivotal role that genomics plays in relationships across the world.

    Earlier this year a study, published in Nature Human Behaviour,

    Read More
  • NIPT for Sex Chromosome Aneuploidies and Autosomal Aneuploidies. A Q&A with Dr Greg Fitzgibbon - 26 May 2021 +

    Yourgene Health has recently launched IONA ® Care , an advanced prenatal screening test that performs whole-genome analysis to measure the likelihood that a pregnant woman is carrying a fetus with one the most common trisomies (trisomy 21, 18 and 13), any other Autosomal Aneuploidy (AA) or a Sex Chromosome Aneuploidy (SCA). IONA ® Care is available from the Yourgene Genomic Services laboratory in Manchester, UK. The test is available as a menu, enabling pregnant women, their families

    Read More
  • COVID-19 testing and the need for regulation - 6 May 2021 +

    The COVID-19 pandemic presented huge challenges worldwide. In response to the unprecedented need for COVID-19 PCR testing, the UK government set up a new network of Lighthouse laboratories across the country to provide the required capacity for testing thousands of samples each day. These laboratories proved a vital part of the test and trace strategy but were also under immense pressure to meet their targets and, following an investigation by Panorama , it was found that

    Read More
  • Yourgene on World Creativity and Innovation Day 2021 - 21 April 2021 +

    Innovation and creativity are two pillars at the heart of technological and scientific advances. The instrumental role they play has been recognised by the United Nations (UNN), who have designated a special day to raise awareness of the importance of innovation in culture and economic growth worldwide: 21st April. World Creativity and Innovation Day (UNN) is a day to encourage people to “think outside the box”, find new perspectives which push personal growth, identify different

    Read More
  • The IONA® test recommended for twin pregnancies screening for Down’s syndrome - 7 April 2021 +

    In recent years, fertility treatments and the fact women are having babies later has made multiple births more common. In 2016, around 12,000 sets of twins and about 190 sets of triplets or more were born in the UK. That means about 1 in every 65 births in the UK today are twins, triplets or more. 1 Extensive studies have been carried out for cell-free DNA (cfDNA) testing in singleton pregnancies with sample numbers into

    Read More
  • Blood clots, inherited thrombophilia and COVID-19 - 25 March 2021 +

    Recent reports in the media from a collection of European countries suggest that there may be cause for concern with regards to the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and abnormal blood clotting. According to Norway’s medicines agency (NoMA), four new cases of “serious blood clotting in adults” have been identified following a recent review (1). Austria have suspended the use of one particular batch of the vaccine after two events, including an individual diagnosed with multiple

    Read More
  • COVID-19 strains - what are they and why do they matter? A Q&A with Dr Michael Risley - 28 January 2021 +

    The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Since the beginning of the global COVID-19 outbreak, the diagnostic and research community has undertaken an unprecedented effort to understand how best to manage, eradicate and prevent the disease. In recent months we have seen the rollout of ambitious vaccination schedules worldwide, as well as the strengthening of

    Read More
  • So much to be proud of! - 23 December 2020 +

    As many have already said and written, this year has been like none other. This has been especially true for conferences and exhibitions. Every year, the commercial team at Yourgene look forward to exhibiting at various conferences globally. It’s a chance to meet our partners and customers, as well as form new relationships. With the COVID-19 pandemic none of this was possible, so when we heard that the Taiwan Healthcare Expo was still going ahead,

    Read More
  • 1
  • 2