Blue Earth Diagnostics CEO Jonathan Allis Appointed Chair of UK Rapid Testing Consortium (UK-RTC) for COVID-19 by UK Department of Health and Social Care
May 1, 2020
Oxford, UK and BURLINGTON, Mass., May 1, 2020 – Blue Earth Diagnostics, a Bracco company focused on molecular imaging diagnostics, today announced that its CEO, Dr Jonathan Allis, has been appointed as Chair of the UK Rapid Testing Consortium (UK-RTC) for COVID-19 by the UK Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).
The UK-RTC has been formed to draw upon the expertise and resources of the UK’s life sciences industries in a combined effort to design and develop a home use antibody test to determine whether people have developed antibodies (and perhaps, potential immunity) after contracting and recovering from COVID-19. It combines the science of Oxford University with the development and manufacturing skills of four UK diagnostic companies: Abingdon Health in England, BBI Solutions in Wales, Omega Diagnostics in Scotland and CIGA Healthcare in Northern Ireland. In his role as Chair of the UK-RTC, Dr Allis will serve as an independent liaison between the participating diagnostic companies and the government. The part-time engagement is of a limited duration, during which time Dr Allis will retain his responsibilities as CEO of Blue Earth Diagnostics. The UK-RTC Chair is independent of the diagnostic companies involved, and Blue Earth Diagnostics is not otherwise engaged in this initiative.
“When the DHSC invited me to chair a consortium to develop a COVID-19 antibody test based on new technology developed at Oxford University, and in light of the urgency of the COVID-19 health crisis worldwide, I felt it was my absolute duty to say ‘yes,’” said Jonathan Allis, D. Phil, CEO of Blue Earth Diagnostics. “Testing for the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (antigen testing) and immune response after COVID-19 (antibody testing) is possible in large hospital and public and private labs now, but what we really need is a home test (somewhat similar to a home pregnancy test), which can be used to test the whole population. This would help us understand how much of the population has been exposed to the virus and help determine plans for people getting back to work.”
Dr Allis continued, “Medical diagnostics are critical to informing proper care and treatment for patients, and I feel honoured that my industry experience in the rapid development of healthcare diagnostics may be of value in this effort.”
“This is a great story of how our manufacturers in the UK are stepping up to the challenge of COVID-19, and I am hopeful that this product will make an impact in our battle against this terrible disease,” said Lord Bethell, Health Minister for Innovation and Testing. “This is a big step in the right direction. People want to know if they’ve had the disease, with a test they can trust.”
Jonathan Allis is the founding CEO of Blue Earth Diagnostics. Prior to this role, Dr Allis was the General Manager for PET at GE Healthcare Life Sciences, and had global responsibility for GE Healthcare’s PET agent and PET synthesis platforms business. He has previously held positions in R&D, Marketing and Product Development at GE Healthcare, Amersham plc, Siemens Medical Solutions and Oxford Magnet Technology, in the UK, USA and Germany.
Dr Allis is Non-Executive Chairman of Polarean Imaging plc and previously served as Co-Chair of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging’s Industry Value Initiative. He has an undergraduate degree in Physics from the University of Cape Town and a doctorate in Biochemistry from the University of Oxford.
About Blue Earth Diagnostics
Blue Earth Diagnostics is a leading molecular imaging diagnostics company focused on the development and commercialization of novel PET imaging agents to inform clinical management and guide care for cancer patients in areas of unmet medical need. Formed in 2014, Blue Earth Diagnostics is led by recognized experts in the clinical development and commercialization of innovative nuclear medicine products. The company’s first approved and commercially available product is Axumin® (fluciclovine F 18), a novel molecular imaging agent approved in the United States and European Union for use in PET imaging to detect and localize prostate cancer in men with a diagnosis of biochemical recurrence. Fluciclovine F 18 has a broad range of other potential applications in cancer imaging and Blue Earth Diagnostics is investigating the molecule for other cancers including in neuro-oncology. The company’s pipeline includes innovative Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA)-targeted radiohybrid (“rh”) agents, which are a clinical-stage, investigational class of theranostic compounds, with potential applications in both the imaging and treatment of prostate cancer. Blue Earth Diagnostics is a subsidiary of Bracco Imaging S.p.A., a global leader in diagnostic imaging. For more information, visit: www.blueearthdiagnostics.com.
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