Supporting the Biotech Sector Throughout COVID-19 Lockdown

Posted by: Caroline - CEO at Amici

As January heralded a new year and another opportunity to drive our business goals, forefront in our mind was Brexit and ensuring our customers were ready for any eventuality. With a few dummy runs in 2019, our Brexit Task Force and customers were old hands at laying down stocks for a potential supply chain crisis…

…and then came COVID-19! Initially, we advised customers to lay down prudent stocks, trying to predict what might become short supply as well as upping our game on office hygiene. By March, the threat was intensifying and as a company that specialises in cloud software, we were in a good position to move early and encourage everyone to work from home. Desks, chairs, and monitors were all transported and our team of just under 50 settled into a new way of working.

The Call of Duty.

Our primary concern was how to continue to support our customers and provide the best supply chain advice in unchartered territory. We were ready to step up and do whatever we could do to help during this global pandemic and delighted with the rush of our customer base also feeling the same call of duty.

The PPE Challenge.

The pandemic has seen countries worldwide shorthanded on PPE and cleaning materials, the very same materials which are essential to laboratory work and GMP manufacturing. The Amici COVID-19 Task Force reached out very early to our supply base. There have been many challenges obtaining PPE and cleaning materials, but our supply base could not have been more helpful in trying to support our customers and having very open conversations over what is and isn’t possible to allow us to pivot to other options quickly. We’ve had to learn more than ever about the technical attributes of PPE and cleaning materials in order to suggest acceptable substitutes from masks and respirators to alcohol cleaning products to the thickness and suitability of one type of nitrile glove to another.

The Amici Order Management Team has been extraordinarily busy – not only with a high percentage of orders not being available, but having to cancel orders, put deliveries on hold and setting up new supply routes. We have used the Amici software to the maximum to understand ordering roadblocks, forecast demand, materials short fall planning and inventory management.

COVID-19 Testing at Alderley Park.

We have been proud to support COVID-19 Testing, being onsite to help set up the supply chain for the Lighthouse Test Centre at Alderley Park.

“Establishing the Alderley Park Lighthouse Lab to advance the UK’s COVID-19 diagnostic capacity and reaching one million patient samples over 4 months was greatly helped by the support from Amici. Their assistance got us over several ravines of risk in this programme.”
Peter Simpson, Chief Scientific Officer at Medicines Discovery Catapult

Medicines Discovery Catapult Recognises Amici’s Efforts.

We were absolutely delighted when Medicines Discovery Catapult sent commemorative coins in recognition of our support in setting up the labs. Another proud moment for all involved at Amici.

Amici staff receive commemorative coin from Medicines Discovery Catapult in recognition of our support during COVID-19 testing.

Amici staff receive commemorative coin from Medicines Discovery Catapult in recognition of our support during COVID-19 testing. Top row L-R: Stefanie Christou, David McCabe, Jennifer Ferguson. Bottom row L-R: Katie McKay, Alison Walton, Ryan Morrison. Middle: Caroline Briggs.

Supporting our Customers and Their Life Changing Work.

We have been overwhelmed by the aggregation of our industry and how people and companies have dropped what they are doing to help this national effort. We’ve also had customers who have

COVID-19 - BBC News article: Oxford vaccine triggers immune response.

COVID-19 – BBC News article: Oxford vaccine triggers immune response.

developed in-vitro lung assays for modelling COVID-19, customers who have developed SARS-COV-2 antibodies and antigens and customers who have supported the COVID-19 effort through seconding their experienced staff to several important national initiatives.

Meanwhile, important life changing clinical trials have still been going on and a large portion of our customers have remained open throughout to deliver this work. We are extraordinarily proud to be supporting our customers and their life changing work. It has been really hard work, there have been untold supply chain challenges and there is so much more to do yet. At Amici we love the opportunity, and a challenge is always a new learning experience.

“We’ve worked with Amici to gain their support and expertise on procurement and inventory management which has made a huge difference to Cobra, saving us many hours that we couldn’t afford to lose at this crucial time. When we started working on the Covid Vaccine, I knew I wanted Amici on the team.”
Nick Smith, Associate Director of Operations at Cobra Biologics

We wish all our customers every success in their endeavour and promise to stand by their side to support them in any way we can.


Find out more about how Amici can support your lab, from procurement through to materials management.


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