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A round-up of companies at Milton Park helping with important COVID-19 response

Published on 1 June 2020

There are many companies up and down the country playing a vital role in the COVID-19 response. Here we pay tribute to those amazing companies and their teams that are based at Milton Park which are going above and beyond during these unprecedented times.

Mike Fischer OBE who runs Systems Biology Laboratory (SBL), the company dedicated to improving patient treatment options through high quality, collaborative and clinically focused research based at 127 Olympic Avenue, has donated £1 million of his own money to establish a network of coronavirus testing premises which could carry out 800,000 tests every day. Read The Herald’s piece.

SBL is also processing tests from across 18 local GP surgeries including Abingdon, Henley, and Sonning, with 650 tests completed w/c 27th April.

Isansys, the digital healthcare company based at 8C Park Square, is working with many hospitals and home health teams globally to support their COVID-19 response with their wireless and remote monitoring technology. With a surge of UK and international orders for its advanced patient monitoring system, Isansys has collaborated with Ricardo to scale up production as quickly as possible while also building longer-term capacity. Read more here.

Oxford Optronix, based at 127 Olympic Avenue, built 2,000 of their Flo-Ox oxygen monitors in just eight days thanks to their dedicated team and supplier network.

They fundamentally re-tooled their production facilities, drafted in an additional temporary workforce from the local community of 33 individuals, and implemented an 18-hour working day right through the Easter holiday. Spurred on by a sense of pride to be supporting the UK’s health service at its time of need, they met their target production peak of 350 monitors per day with a total of just over 2,000 monitors manufactured and delivered. You can read the full story here.

Johnson Matthey, the global leader in sustainable technologies with a battery application centre at 142 Park Drive, has not only donated two 3,000-litre tanks from its Milton Park site to be used as oxygen tanks for the NHS, but it has also supported the NHS and their local centres by using their 3D printing expertise to make parts for personal protective equipment (PPE).

3DNC, the precision engineering company based at 119D Olympic Avenue, has been involved in the production of the Penlon Ventilators in association with McLaren Automotive that were delivered to the Nightingale Hospital. They have also been busy producing face masks for NHS staff. They tell us that their machines are currently running 24/7.

South Central Fleet Services, a subsidiary of South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust based at Brook Drive, has been working day and night to ensure that the ambulance fleet is managed and maintained.

They look after and service all the Trusts’ vehicles, along with all the medial and communications equipment, for Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire which can be anything from a five-tonne ambulance to a community first responder vehicle.

Their workshops are open seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Ipsen, a leading biopharmaceutical group dedicated to improving lives through innovative medicines in oncology, neuroscience and rare diseases which is based at 102 Park Drive, has loaned key equipment from its R&D hub at Milton Park, such as a safety cabinet to the University of Oxford and a PCR (Polymerase chain reaction) machine, which is used to “amplify” small segments of DNA, to the COVID-19 hub laboratory in Milton Keynes.

Its Milton Park running club also raised funds for The Oxford Artisan Distillery which has been making hand sanitiser for Oxfordshire care homes, hospitals and local community.

Ipsen has also introduced an extended volunteering scheme to enable colleagues to return to the NHS or volunteer through GoodSam programme.

The Crowcon team, which is based at 172 Brook Drive, rose to the challenge as health chiefs warned hospitals of increased risks of “combustion” onwards caused by more ventilators being used to treat COVID-19 patients.

According to guidance sent to hospital estates teams by NHS England and NHS Improvement, the density of ventilators could “enrich” the air with oxygen, which increases the “combustion risk”. Trusts have been ordered to carry out regular monitoring of “potentially exposed rooms” to “ensure oxygen enrichment is controlled”.

After being contacted by one of the hospitals in the UK preparing to increase intensive care facilities, the Crowcon team jumped into action to manufacture 30 portable O2 detectors ensuring the fastest possible delivery.

Unlike some of its neighbours at Milton Park, OmPrompt’s contribution in the COVID-19 emergency may not be obvious but it is impressive. Based at 67 Innovation Drive, OmPrompt has been supporting complex, mission-critical operations in more than 100 countries around the globe for manufacturers and distributors in two sectors critical to the COVID-19 response: food, beverage and household, and healthcare and life sciences – including medicines, medical equipment, test kits and PPE.

Philip Campbell, commercial director, Milton Park said: “We are humbled by the COVID-19 response work that is happening not just at the Park but globally. This round-up won’t even do justice to the commitment and hard work that is happening around us to protect people.

“These are the occupiers that we know about and we are certain that we will have missed out on others. We fully appreciate that you will be very busy at the moment. When you’re ready, we would love to hear about your work to share with our community. It’s the least we can do. Thank you.”

If you have any news to share about your company, please do get in touch with us:

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