Halo Labs, the San Francisco-based life science instrumentation company developing tools for biologics researchers has taken laboratory space at The EpiCentre, Haverhill Research Park, Suffolk, in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. The company will be testing its equipment on drug particles at the innovation centre which is managed by Oxford Innovation, the UK’s leading operator of innovator centres with 26 facilities around the British Isles. 

Dr Paul Dyer, Field Application Scientist at Halo Labs, says: “We needed a facility to carry out tests on customer samples and with the pandemic this need has accelerated. The EpiCentre meets our requirements in terms of laboratory standards for biotech testing and is more than sufficient to meet our needs.” Dr Dyer points to the business support provided by Oxford Innovation, its competitive pricing and flexible terms, together with easy road access to Haverhill that, in some respects, gives it an advantage over many Cambridge locations.

The Halo Labs products have reduced therapeutic development timelines and have revolutionized stability testing across the industry. Its Horizon and Aura systems have become the standard for high-throughput, low-volume particle analysis, it is now considered the technology of choice in cell and gene therapy. Researchers around the globe depend on Halo Labs for unprecedented insights into aggregates and subvisible particles present in their drug products via optical imaging on membranes.

Halo Labs is the second biotech company to locate at The EpiCentre’s laboratory facilities. CodiKoat, a start-up company which has developed a ground-breaking technology that kills viruses and bacteria on surfaces within seconds and is designed to halt the spread of Coronavirus, took up occupation before Christmas.

CodiKoat caught the attention of Health Secretary Matt Hancock when he undertook a virtual tour of the new EpiCentre recently. Hancock, the MP for the West Suffolk constituency, was undertaking a tour via video-link, to see the new vaccination clinic set up by the Suffolk GP Federation and while there dropped in to see CodiKoat. The Health Secretary who confirmed that touch is a core vector in the transmission of coronavirus, commented: “That’s amazing, I could see the benefit of this immediately including within the NHS,” and he asked for more details to be sent to him.

Gareth Scargill, commercial director at Oxford Innovation, said “The arrival of both Halo Labs and CodiKoat at The EpiCentre shows the ripple effect from Cambridge that makes Haverhill a viable location. Our shared labs come fully kitted out with specialist equipment, perfect for tissue culturing, microbiology research and more. And with a write-up area and waste management, biotech companies have everything they need,” Scargill adds.