This Yorkshire laboratory aims to save lives by reducing the number of people addicted to smoking

A DISUSED warehouse in Yorkshire has been transformed into a global laboratory which aims to save lives by reducing the number of people addicted to smoking.

(From left to right) Dr. Mira Doig, laboratory manager and technical director, with Brian Wright, president of ACM Global Laboratories at ABS Laboratories new state-of-the-art laboratory in York
(From left to right) Dr. Mira Doig, laboratory manager and technical director, with Brian Wright, president of ACM Global Laboratories at ABS Laboratories new state-of-the-art laboratory in York

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ABS Laboratories has created a state-of-the-art base in York, which analyses drugs, including nicotine and other related compounds, in saliva, urine and plasma for organisations conducting clinical trials.The company has invested more than £1m in the 7,500 sq ft laboratory, which includes support from a £175,000 Let’s Grow North & East Yorkshire grant.ABS Laboratories has also invested in major software and hardware improvements including a new Liquid Chromatograph Tandem Mass Spectrometer. The new equipment will provide sensitive analysis of new drugs in connection with advanced smoking and nicotine replacement therapies.It will be involved in Government funded programmes to stop people smoking in England and Scotland.ABS was purchased by ACM Global Laboratories in 2018 as part of a strategic growth initiative, which sees it looking to expand its collection of domestic and international laboratories focused on bioanalytical, toxicology and central lab testing. ABS has moved from Welwyn Garden City near London, to Hospital Fields Road, which is opposite ACM’s European headquarters in York. ABS plans to hire more staff in 2020, who will work alongside ACM’s York-based team of more than 120 staff.ABS Laboratories was founded 24 years ago by scientists Colin Feyerabend and Mira Doig, who managed the company’s move to York.Dr Doig, who is the laboratory manager and technical director, at ABS Laboratories said: “ABS’ growth and evolution throughout the decades has brought new ways of working and understanding of the science of drug development to this area of the industry. “Commitment, passion and quality in science has been critical to success behind our work. Today we are here to celebrate another leap forward with brilliant new facilities, leading-edge technology and equipment, and a well-rounded team. Being in York with ACM will bring greater collaboration and more opportunities for the business.”Speaking at the official opening of the laboratory, Brian Wright, president, ACM Global Laboratories, said: “ABS Laboratories’ expansion and relocation is an important initiative for both ABS and ACM, with significant investment to provide state-of-the-art clinical trial testing and central laboratory services. He added: “Collaboration with the scientific community here in York and abroad will advance our global footprint so we can continue to help generations to come.”

ABS Laboratories Ltd was founded by Dr. Colin Feyerabend in 1995 when the Medical Research Council stopped supporting their research programme into nicotine and the dangers of smoking which they had funded since the late 1970s. Dr Mira Doig joined him in 1996 after working for the Wellcome Research Foundation (now GSK) for 15 years.The company had humble beginnings, occupying a facility that had been the mortuary at New Cross Hospital in London. ACM Global Laboratories is one of the largest global independent laboratory firms.