Molecular biology lab in Scotland will expedite PCR testing for fish farming operations

Responsible Seafood Advocate

New PHARMAQ Analytiq lab will deliver faster results to aquaculture operations using PCR

PHARMAQ Analytiq
From left to right: Angela Ashby, Head of Clinical Services, PHARMAQ Analytiq Scotland, Ruaraidh MacNeil, Director of Business Infrastructure, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Chris Matthews, Business Unit Director UK & Ireland, PHARMAQ Analytiq Scotland. Photo courtesy of PHARMAQ Analytiq Scotland.

PHARMAQ Analytiq, the world’s largest provider of dedicated evidence-based veterinary diagnostics, consultancy and environmental monitoring to the aquaculture sector, is opening a dedicated molecular biology laboratory at Solasta House on Inverness Campus in Scotland.

The new laboratory complements the existing digital pathology, microbiology and environmental laboratories in Inverness and will deliver faster results to Scottish fish farms using PCR to safeguard the health of fish populations.

“This new opening will create three new highly skilled positions in Inverness and deliver an improved service for our customers worldwide,” said Chris Matthews, PHARMAQ Analytiq’s Business Unit Director in the United Kingdom and Ireland. “High quality, rapid molecular techniques including PCR are at the center of preventative health work in aquaculture but are also now finding application in how we monitor the surrounding environment or even the resilience of farms against the effects of climate change.”

Matthews said that raising healthy fish to meet the growing demand for protein while respecting the environment is “critical” to achieving a sustainable future. For PHARMAQ Analytiq, innovative fish health management tools across the continuum of care can help better meet the needs of clients.

“The heart of our business will always be the veterinary diagnosticians, pathologists and scientists which make up our team,” said Nils Arne Grønlie, General Manager of PHARMAQ Analytiq.  “Yet monitoring the health of fish and their environment will look different in ten years and together with R&D colleagues at Zoetis, we are at work on the next generation of monitoring tools which will further evolve how preventative health programs are approached in Scotland and elsewhere.”

The new laboratory is situated on Inverness Campus, developed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and opened in 2015 as a center for the life sciences and technology sectors, which represents a growing hub for aquaculture service, research and development activity.

“Inverness has long been an important center for the aquaculture industry,” said Ruaraidh MacNeil, Director of Business Infrastructure for the Campus. “The location of PHARMAQ Analytiq alongside the organizations already on site working in the sector and the collaborative possibilities this brings is truly exciting.”

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