Coronavirus: Hampstead charity Anthony Nolan lends high-tech robot to effort to ramp up Covid-19 testing

PUBLISHED: 13:28 17 April 2020 | UPDATED: 13:28 17 April 2020

One of the Tecan robots in use at Anthony Nolan's labs. Picture: Anthony Nolan

One of the Tecan robots in use at Anthony Nolan's labs. Picture: Anthony Nolan


Hampstead-based charity Anthony Nolan has donated a high-tech robot to the UK government’s battle to scale up testing for the coronavirus.

The charity – which works to save the lives of people with blood cancer – has given up one of its Tecan robots, which makes it easier for laboratories to process liquid samples and reagents.

It means humans aren’t required to manually process key vials themselves.

The charity’s other robot will continue to be used to test the blood of potential stem cell or bone marrow donors.

Dimitri Michalakis, who runs the charity’s labs, said: “Covid-19 poses an unmitigated risk to us all, but the threat is felt even more acutely in the case of patients with blood cancer or who’ve recently been through a stem cell transplant.

“The virus requires a unified response involving every one of us playing our part.”

Anthony Nolan itself is running an emergency campaign to to raise an extra £30,000 this year to cover the cost of increased testing for stem cell donors; and the rising need for patient services.

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