It hardly seems possible but a fortnight has gone by already since the successful launch of BJS Biotechnologies’ xxpress, the world’s fastest and most thermally accurate real-time qPCR thermal cycler, at the glorious Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace.
“Buckingham Palace was a sensational place to launch xxpress and the positive response from our biotechnology guests was truly amazing,” said Richard Lewis, chair, BJS Biotechnologies.
The Coronation Festival, held in the palace grounds, marked the 60 years since the Queen’s coronation and celebrated over 200 companies who hold Royal Warrants of Appointment. BJS Biotechnologies’ parent, BJS Company, was granted a Royal Warrant by HM Queen Elizabeth II in 1992 for its services of electroforming, electroplating and silversmithing.
“We were delighted by the reception xxpress received. We are a British company and have developed some world beating technology here in the UK. Our products are also produced in the UK and over 80% of them will be exported. So where better to launch than at a festival that celebrates the best of British,” explained Nick Burroughs, CEO, BJS Biotechnologies.
The stand, in the Science and Technology area of the festival, included an xxpress thermocycler demonstration model and displays on the technology, and attracted a lot of attention from members of the public.
“Visitors to our stand gained a deep understanding of how xxpress technology could impact their lives in the future,” said Karly-Rai Rogers-Broadway, senior PCR scientist, BJS Biotechnologies.
The first view of the machine and its possibilities in research also caught the eye of the scientists visiting the festival.
“The comment I had time and time again was why would anyone want a real time PCR thermal cycler which could do a maximum of three runs a day when they could have an xxpress which will do 40 runs a day. Everyone loved the intuitive graphic user interface provided by the touch screen and the fact that the PC was built in. We even had comments about the fact that xxpress is cheaper than all the important competition and that we’d priced it right at £20,000 to get approval from buyers in these really difficult funding times,” said Lewis.
“When research scientists learned about our technology they were excited about how the xxpress thermal cycler would increase their research output, helping get answers to their questions in a fraction of the time,” added Rogers-Broadway.
As well as xxpress, the BJS stand displayed some of the props from the Harry Potter films, electroplated by BJS, including a Golden Snitch and the Sword of Gryffindor.
The stand even attracted a royal visitor, explained Burroughs: “Prince Edward’s visit to our stand was a great endorsement; he could really see the benefits of faster testing and the lives it would save.”
The Coronation Festival closed each night with a spectacular evening gala of dance, drama, music and song, from classical music, ballet and opera, to rock, pop and world music and dance.
Want to know more about xxpress and see it in action? Ralph Coney of BJS Biotechnologies is discussing placing units with opinion leaders for evaluation, and the company will be demonstrating the machine in the UK in September, and at Biotechnica in Hannover in October.
Suzanne Elvidge is a freelance science, biopharma, business and health writer with more than 20 years of experience. She has written for a range of online and print publications including FierceBiomarkers, FierceDrugDelivery, European Life Science, the Journal of Life Sciences (now the Burrill Report), In Vivo, Life Science Leader, Nature Biotechnology, New Scientist, PR Week and Start-Up. She specialises in writing on pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, healthcare, science, lifestyle and green living, but can write on any topic given enough tea and chocolate biscuits. She lives just beyond the neck end of nowhere in the Peak District with her second-hand bookseller husband and two second-hand cats.