‘We can do it faster and bigger’ – How the private sector plans to solve Britain’s coronavirus testing crisis

Exclusive: British scientists say they could develop the first coronavirus treatment in six months and can catch Germany up on testing

It was a phone call between Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser, and executives at AstraZeneca that might yet prove a turning point in Britain’s coronavirus testing crisis.

Offers of simplifying the process and “doing things faster” were tabled by the pharmaceutical giant, which believes it can already test in batches at least three times bigger than other Government centres.

“Ultimately if the country wants to get to 150,000 or 200,000 (tests a day), we want to be able to get there as well,” says Sir Menelas Pangalos, the company’s executive vice president.

However, voicing strong opposition to what he describes as a “wild-west” culture of false dawns, he added: “Right now, baby steps, before we can run.” Initial Government reticence to support from the private sector has evaporated since Matt Hancock set the daunting target of increasing testing to 100,000 a day by the end of the month….









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