Alnwick pharmaceuticals firm Arcinova in talks on helping fight coronavirus

An Alnwick-based company working in pharmaceuticals is in talks with officials over how it can use its expertise in the fight against coronavirus.

One of the town’s major employers, Arcinova provides a range of services to pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

Given the importance of its work, operations are continuing at its base next to the new Willowburn Retail Park.

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CEO Roger Kilburn said: “Arcinova currently has on average 100 employees on site per day who are essential workers, with non-essential staff home working. We currently have a very low absentee rate (at only 7%).

“We work on essential medicines that save lives; this includes treatments for cancer, diabetes and immune-suppressant diseases.

“We are in discussion with the local NHS, Public Health England and the Department for International Trade about how we can use our site, services and skills to best support the efforts made to resolve the COVID-19 outbreak.”

In a separate statement to clients and staff, Mr Kilburn explained: “The COVID-19 situation is rapidly changing and as an agile single-site business, we are quickly adapting our work processes to meet these changes.

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Science is on the case and it is vital that we do our part to support the global efforts in finding solutions while doing all we can to contain the spread of infection.”

His key message to clients was that Arcinova remains open for business, while thanking ‘our loyal customers, suppliers, contractors and their staff for their ongoing support to us at this challenging time’.

He also thanked the staff – 70% of whom are laboratory-based and therefore working on site – ‘for their dedication in response to the COVID-19 challenge’, which has seen stringent new practices introduced.

“I am extremely proud of all our staff’s work ethic and the pace at which they have adapted to this ‘new normal’,” he added.

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Arcinova has also launched a competition on its Facebook page for youngsters aged four to 13, the majority of whom will be off school, asking them to create pictures of scientists. Visit for details.