Västerbotten Investment Agency

GE Healthcare in Umeå important in the fight against Ebola

november 3rd, 2014

p-LBR0430Jefferson McKay, a volunteer in the Liberian Red Cross, informs residents in Red Light, Liberia, about Ebola and how to avoid becoming infected. Photo: Victor Lacken/IFRC/Red cross

Every day ​​great efforts are made worldwide to halt the spread of Ebola and to develop a vaccine. GE Healthcare in Umeå manufacture equipment used by scientists in development of new vaccines.

GE Healthcare in Umeå employ around 400 people of which 330 work within production. They manufacture a variety of instruments currently used by the pharmaceutical industry for research and development of new drugs and vaccines. The instruments have different but related use areas, according to Västerbottningen.

Three instruments

The first instrument, a WAVE bioreactor, looks much like a large kitchen scale. A disposable bag with cell fluid is placed in the reactor to create a rocking movement so that the cell liquid are mixed and cells begin to produce protein. The second instrument, ÄKTA, separate out and purify the proteins produced and that are of interest to scientists. With the third instrument, BIACORE, proteins are characterized to detect if any of them have have the ability to cure or prevent, in this case Ebola.

An increased need for products

In the fight against Ebola, GE Healthcare sees an increased need for their products. Already, the production has increased, but the company is focused on the rapid control of production if the demand of instruments against Ebola would increase further.

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