7 Apr 2014

Science City supports DNA testing company in Ministry of Justice accreditation

Newcastle Science City supported growing DNA testing company, NorthGene Limited, in gaining ISO 17025 accreditation by the Ministry of Justice to carry out legal DNA tests, becoming one of only a dozen accredited testing centres in the UK.

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

Newcastle Science City’s business support team met with NorthGene to discuss how the organisation could develop its business and increase the flow of work to the laboratory.

One key area of development was the achievement of ISO accreditation which would allow the business to carry out new test procedures and provide the potential for expansion. To become accredited, NorthGene needed to interface its systems with online databases, bringing its systems to a fully ISO accredited standard.

Newcastle Science City part-funded the design and build of a lab workflow management system which could be integrated into the company’s current CRM system, allowing NorthGene to develop an innovative approach to the way samples were tracked.

Ministry of Justice accreditation was subsequently 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. It is expected that the company will go on to grow its in-house testing portfolio in the region as a result.

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.”

Based at the International Centre for Life in Newcastle, NorthGene is part of the QuantuMDx group of companies and delivers customer focused, gold standard commercial DNA and molecular testing to UK and overseas customers. NorthGene’s portfolio of services includes relationship testing, cell line verification and drug & alcohol testing.

To find out more about how you could benefit from the business support services provided by Newcastle Science City, please get in touch with the relevant contact below.

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