These photos show just what it's like inside the Welsh laboratory that's developing Covid-19 antibody tests.

The lab is set to make millions of tests to be distributed throughout the UK.

Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, in Pencoed, is among a number of firms worldwide producing the test.

The American-based company, which has had a presence in Wales for more than 40 years, is able to produce millions of antibody tests each week at peak production.

The blood test looks for antibodies to see if a person has already had the coronavirus and might now have some immunity.

It's hoped the antibody will be able to trace how many people in a population have been exposed to the virus at some stage.

Plastic components that will make up the parts for a Covid-19 antibody testing kit at the Ortho Clinical Diagnostics (OCD) testing laboratory
Boxed Covid-19 antibody testing kits move along a conveyor behind perspex shields

Bosses say the tests not only ensure accuracy, but can also be processed very quickly, with a potential to test hundreds of samples every hour.

Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, which has been working with Public Health Wales and Public Health England, usually produces millions of diagnostics tests for a wide range of conditions, including heart disease and cancer.

The company is one of a number to produce the antibody tests for the UK.

It became involved after responding to a call to action to help with the coronavirus response from First Minister Mark Drakeford and Life Sciences Hub Wales.

Life Science Hub Wales has been working with NHS Wales, health and social care providers across the country to identify key priorities that must be urgently addressed to support healthcare services during the coronavirus outbreak.

These include medical devices, infection control and digital solutions.

Boxed Covid-19 antibody testing kits move along a conveyor behind perspex shields on the production line
A Covid-19 antibody testing kit is picked up by a robotic hand on the factory line before being sealed in foil and boxed
Bottles containing a Covid-19 reagent for antibody testing kits are moved along a conveyor by robotic arms behind perspex shields on the production line

Read More

Coronavirus latest

Cari-Anne Quinn, CEO at Life Sciences Hub Wales, said: “Life Sciences Hub Wales works with health and social care services in Wales to understand the challenges they are facing.

"With our experience of the life sciences sector, we then work with companies and innovators across the country, the UK and globally to identify solutions.

"These solutions are then developed into innovative products and services to meet the priority needs faced by health and care.

“In early April, Life Sciences Hub Wales issued a national call to industry to support NHS Wales’ response to Covid-19.

"The response from businesses in Wales, the UK and overseas was extremely supportive and following the call, Welsh Government made the organisation the sole point of contact for initial industry engagement with the NHS in Wales.

Plastic components are placed onto an assembly line that make up the parts for a Covid-19 antibody testing kit
Bottles containing a Covid-19 reagent for antibody testing kits are moved along a conveyor by robotic arms

Paul Hackworth, Ortho’s Managing Director in the UK, said teams have been working day and night as we prepare to reach a mass scale of production of Covid-19 tests.

He added: "Both our tests for Covid-19 (Total and IgG) are CE Marked, offering excellent performance, with 100% specificity and helping health care professionals understand if a patient has the virus.

"We are looking forward to playing our part as the product reaches the hands of our frontline NHS workers and the wider population in the UK."

Councillor Robert Bevan, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council's Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Development and Housing, said: “I am delighted to see a company based within our County Borough leading the way in the fight against Covid-19.

“The country is in the midst of a national crisis, which has already claimed countless lives and affected thousands more.

"Antibody testing is vital as we continue to trace and track who has had this virus."