Fenelab Consortium COVID-19 now also starts with corona tests

Fenelab Consortium COVID-19 now also starts with corona tests

Unique network of Dutch laboratories will carry out a large volume of additional corona tests.

Meteren, January 12, 2021. Eight Dutch laboratories have joined forces in the Fenelab Consortium
COVID-19 to realize additional test capacity at the request of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and
Sport. These laboratories are affiliated with the national trade association Fenelab. The
laboratories accredited by the Dutch Accreditation Council have extensive experience with PCR
analyzes. This new extensive laboratory network will go into production this week.

Non-medical laboratories provide resources

After good deliberation with relevant authorities such as the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport,
the Dienst Testen, GGD GHOR and RIVM, the time has now come: a consortium of non-medical Fenelab laboratories will offer help to carry out corona tests. The Ministry of VWS has asked the Fenelab members to become part of the upscaling laboratories.

Nine members of the association Fenelab enable this collaboration: LabWing, Merieux Nutrisciences,
Nofalab, Normec Biobeheer, Nutreco Masterlab, NutriControl, Nutrilab, SGS and Triskelion. Under normal circumstances these companies are competing food laboratories, all of them are ISO 17025 accredited and top performers in their field. Additionally, they have a great deal of experience to perform high-quality PCR analyzes. With the recent signing of the agreement with the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, these labs will as of January 4th contribute to the ongoing fight against the corona virus.

The CEL functions as a central extraction location and logistics distribution station

After people have been sampled at the GGD test locations, the samples – provided by the Fenelab
Consortium COVID-19 – are immediately transferred by courier to the central distribution station in Vlaardingen. This Central Extraction Location (The CEL) has been prepared and meets BSL-2 safety qualifications to receive, pre-treat and distribute nose and throat samples. Qualified personnel receive the samples. Using the extraction robots installed for this purpose, the samples are pipetted to the 96-well plates that are allocated to the participating laboratories.

Powerful internet platform connects laboratories with their own data exchange protocol

The joint capacity of these collaborating laboratories can be optimally utilized by making use of the
joint internet platform Labs-of-Time® specifically developed and realized by LabWing in the Netherlands. Via this LabWing Cloud platform, the electronic laboratory assignments, that are received via the secure e-care network, are automatically processed and the results digitally reported to the system of the joint GGDs. By using smart algorithms, the available laboratory capacity is optimally utilized day and night.
In this way it becomes possible to distribute the samples centrally and to distribute them in the most
efficient way logistically within a network of laboratories and thus immediately have a large, easily scalable capacity.

This special cooperation between competitors can thus provide excellent help in a crisis situation.

Major laboratories across the country provide PCR analyzes within 24 hours

The laboratories, the so-called PCR locations in the Netherlands, ultimately carry out the tests on the
basis of which it is determined whether or not a person is infected with the corona virus. Results will be delivered within 24 hours of taking the swab. In addition, daily ring tests and control samples ensure that the quality requirements are met. All materials for the sampling, kits and analysis equipment are provided by the Fenelab Consortium COVID-19.

The Dutch laboratories thus enable further upscaling with extra PCR capacity.

Innovation and the future

Fenelab is happy to use the extensive testing experience of its members for an adequate structure
and organization with which these types of crises can be quickly dealt with. Sophisticated logistics and brainpower are necessary for this and the members of Fenelab can offer these to the Dutch society. Thinking of developments like intelligent monitoring of educational institutions and other types of intelligent home testing by using the very latest laboratory, logistics and ICT solutions.

Read the press release

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