AlphaBiolabs also carries out dug and alcohol testing for a raft of corporate clients and launched its non-invasive prenatal paternity testing last spring. Tony McDonough reports
Fast-growing laboratory testing business AlphaBiolabs is new exporting its prenatal paternity testing service to 16 countries across the world.
The Warrington firm, which also carries out dug and alcohol testing for a raft of corporate clients, launched its non-invasive prenatal paternity testing last spring, It was the first lab in Europe to offer the service.
The test determines paternity from as little as five weeks after conception. The DNA of the adults is obtained via a blood sample from the mother and a mouth swab sample from the man. The unborn baby’s DNA is obtained from the mother’s bloodstream.
It led to a sales surge and now AlphaBiolabs has recruited business partners in North and South America, Africa, Asia and Australasia as well as Europe over the past six months, to expand the service worldwide.
The samples are analysed using new-generation sequencing technology and instrumentation which amplifies the visibility of DNA segments for analysis. This enables scientists at AlphaBiolabs to determine whether the unborn baby shares the man’s DNA.
If the man is the child’s biological father, they will share identical sections of DNA at each marker. When the tested man is not the biological father, there will differences between his DNA and that of the unborn baby.
AlphaBiolabs invested £400,000 in additional equipment to conduct the tests in-house. Since the service was introduced, the firm has signed up partners to sell its prenatal paternity test in 16 countries and many have opted to send all their relationship DNA lab testing to the company as well.
It has led to three new roles at the business to support its international work and it is currently recruiting for four more new positions. These include international account managers and laboratory analysts.
Managing director David Thomas said: “As a result of launching non-invasive prenatal paternity testing in-house, we have experienced increased revenue from exports and are continuing to expand the team to support this growth. We are one of only a few companies worldwide to offer this test and we are happy to be supporting our international partners with a rapid turnaround service at cost-effective prices from our award-winning lab.
“Following the launch, quite a number of our partners have decided to send a range of different samples for testing to take advantage of our next-day turnaround times, and we expect the growth of our international network to continue.”
In addition to its UK operations, AlphaBiolabs, which now has more than 60 staff, has offices in Dublin and in the US. It is now providing testing services to customers in 47 US states, with sales growing month-on-month.
Until the programme’s demise last year the company regularly provided DNA testing for ITV’s The Jeremy Kyle Show. It also sells DNA testing kits nationwide through outlets of Liverpool-based retailer Home Bargains.