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Loughborough MP Officially Opens Former Lighthouse Lab at Charnwood Campus

Loughborough MP Officially Opens Former Lighthouse Lab at Charnwood Campus content piece image
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A state-of-the-art former Lighthouse Lab at the Charnwood Campus was officially opened by Jane Hunt MP, having been acquired by the global whole genome sequencing company, Dante Labs.

The Charnwood lab is operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will deliver Covid-19 RT-PCR testing and clinical whole genome sequencing at scale. It uses smart automation and machine learning to enable superior precision, sample tracking and quality, with the capacity to process 50,000 Covid-19 tests a day. The lab will initially employ 100 people from the local area, with ambitions to treble this number.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Friday before guests took advantage of a walkthrough of the facilities. Joining Ms Hunt, who became the MP for Loughborough in 2019, was and the Leader of Loughborough Council, Cllr Jonathan Morgan.

The move by Dante Labs represents a substantial investment in the thriving science, technology innovation and enterprise technology park which hosts dozens of world-leading businesses.

Jane Hunt, Member of Parliament for Loughborough, said: “It is wonderful to see these facilities back in operation and I am delighted to welcome Dante Labs to the constituency. Their undoubted commitment to the area if hugely welcome, and I thank them for their long-term investment in Charnwood Campus.”

Dante Labs Chief Executive Officer, Andrea Riposati, said: “We were honoured to host Jane Hunt MP and Cllr Morgan here to formally open our new facilities here at the Charnwood Campus. It is a thriving life sciences community which we are excited to be a part of.”

“Not only will the lab help accelerate the UK’s Covid-19 testing and sequencing capability, but it will also see us invest in the vibrant local community. Our expertise in whole genome sequencing and testing means that this lab will immediately play a crucial role today in managing the Covid-19 pandemic, and in the next decades to enable whole genome-based personalised medicine across the world.”

Gosia Khrais, Commercial Director at Charnwood Campus, said: “It is a testament to the quality of our facilities here at Charnwood Campus that a company of Dante Labs’ size and stature has chosen to put down roots here. We are pleased to play host to world-leading life sciences experts, and Dante Labs make an excellent addition.”

With a presence in the UK, Italy and the United Arab Emirates, Dante Labs has carried out over three million Covid-19 tests since the start of the pandemic. The Cambridge-headquartered company is investing heavily in UK facilities, personnel and research and development.

Last week, Dante Labs appointed former Invitae chief diagnostics strategy officer Sandra Close to its board of directors, to bolster its global precision medicine initiative.

Dante Labs recently acquired Cambridge Cancer Genomics as part of its ambition to create global excellence in precision oncology with the potential of impacting millions of patients worldwide from the UK.