500 jobs created in LumiraDx Scottish expansion

The Scottish Government said more than 500 new jobs are to be created as part of plans to establish a global health research, development and manufacturing hub.

Life sciences giant LumiraDx has announced a £78 million investment in its current Scottish operations which could see up to 750 jobs created over the next three years.

Supported by a £15 million grant from Scottish Enterprise, the posts will be located at sites across Stirling, Inverness and a new facility under construction at Eurocentral, near Glasgow.

The company’s rapid antigen test for coronavirus (COVID-19) is currently being used by the NHS.

The new jobs will scale up manufacturing, as well as the development of a range of other ground-breaking tests.

The firm currently has a pipeline of 30 tests for conditions including blood clots, heart disease, and diabetes.

Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “This is a huge boost for our economy which shows the country is still very much open for business as we look to emerge from lockdown.

“Life sciences has been a cornerstone of our economy for many years and this announcement shows that the sector will continue to drive growth in the future and help in the fight against the pandemic.

“It also makes it clear that Scotland is an attractive location for global investors.

“The fact that hundreds of high-quality research jobs are being created shows that the company recognises the skills which exist in the country’s workforce.

“This project underlines the importance of a team Scotland approach to working together to provide the right environment for international businesses to grow along with the benefits to the local communities.”

A total of 510 new posts will be guaranteed over the next three years as a result of the investment.

The firm is hopeful this could rise to more than 750 new posts if current market demand prevails.

Up to 80% of the healthcare products manufactured by the firm will be for the export market, including the USA, Europe, and Japan.

LumiraDx CEO Ron Zwanziger said: “Implementing reliable COVID-19 diagnostic testing programs, that provide rapid results with minimum false negatives is critical to safely reopening the economy.

“We are pleased to contribute to Scotland’s health and economic growth, now and beyond the pandemic.

“We are also delighted to be increasing our footprint in Scotland and expanding the country’s life sciences industry.

“Next-generation point of care testing technology can help to transform healthcare systems.

“It’s an exciting undertaking, and we know to do this quickly and to do it well we need the right infrastructure in place and access to incredible talent to drive this development.

“Scotland has both.

“We are proud to be investing in the country, and its communities and grateful to Scottish Enterprise for their support through this grant.”

Scottish Enterprise interim Chief Executive Linda Hanna said: “LumiraDx is at the global cutting edge of next generation rapid diagnostic testing and this investment has the potential to be transformative for Scotland’s life sciences sector and wider economy.

“Over the last decade, we and our partners have steadfastly pursued an ambition to simultaneously create wealth whilst promoting health by nurturing a vibrant life sciences sector that thrives on academic excellence, exceptional skills and a strong and supportive business environment.

“It is those strengths that have helped secure LumiraDx’s investment in Scotland and we look forward to working with the company as it goes from strength to strength providing healthcare diagnostic solutions to communities around the world.”