4 Nov 2013

Science City supports DNA testing company in Ministry of Justice accreditation

Newcastle Science City has supported growing DNA testing company, NorthGene Limited, in gaining accreditation by the Ministry of Justice to carry out legal DNA tests* in a move which is expected to see the company grow its in-house testing portfolio in the region.

Founded in 1996 by Professor Sir John Burn, an internationally renowned human genetics specialist and medical consultant, NorthGene Limited was one of the UK’s first commercial DNA testing companies.

Based at the International Centre for Life in Newcastle, the company carries out legal DNA testing for coroners, solicitors, local councils and the general public, alongside additional drug and alcohol testing and cell line verification services for research and clinical laboratories.

The Ministry of Justice accreditation has been given in recognition of NorthGene’s exceptional standards of quality, laboratory and customer services, allowing the company to not only perform paternity, maternity and siblingship tests in legal and forensic cases, but also for court directed cases and immigration applications.

Marie Whitehouse, Managing Director at NorthGene commented: “We are delighted to be one of the very few UK-based laboratories accredited by the Ministry of Justice to carry out DNA paternity and maternity tests where the court gives a ‘Section 20 direction’. We’d like to thank the team at Newcastle Science City for their support in gaining funding which made this accreditation possible, and will ultimately allow us to expand our in-house testing portfolio and embrace additional Forensic DNA testing services too.”

Glen Kemp, Business Support Manager at Newcastle Science City said: “To secure accreditation by the Ministry of Justice is a prestigious achievement and a huge milestone in NorthGene’s development. The company has gone from strength to strength, and it’s extremely rewarding to have played a role in helping to achieve this latest stage of what is sure to be a long and prosperous journey for the company.”

*the legal DNA tests are under section 20 of the Family Law Reform Act 1969.

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