According to a person familiar with the matter, GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca are in talks to set up a laboratory to explore new ways of testing for COVID-19 to help overcome shortages of diagnostic materials, reported BusinessLIVE.
The drugmakers will evaluate the use of different raw materials needed to carry out the tests and use their expertise and resources to help other companies or the NHS increase production, according to the person,
Last week, UK health secretary Matt Hancock pledged to increase coronavirus testing to 100,000 a day by the end of April.
The decision came after mounting criticism about the limited number of tests being don, with a shortage of reagents and swabs being blamed for delays.
A spokesperson for AstraZeneca stated that the company had spoken with the government about helping and using its "in-house scientific capabilities to increase the effectiveness of the national testing effort," but declined to give details.
Meanwhile, GlaxoSmithKline has responded to requests to support UK efforts to expand testing for COVID-19, including providing laboratory equipment and scientific advice, the company said in a statement.