Ban katantaAn employee from Roche Diagnostics dedicates his career to develop the most innovative and environmentally-friendly packaging design for reagents.
Although he didn’t realise at the time, sustainable reagents would become Andrew McCaughey’s mission for decades. When he joined Roche Diagnostics in 1994, activities were already underway to create a smarter, more efficient packaging concept for reagents. But there was immense work still to be done.
“In those days every clinical chemistry system that was introduced typically had its own kit containing reagent carriers to perform diagnostic tests. You had up to 50 different reagent kits for each test – our vision was to have one per test. So there was a 50 times mismatch between where we were and where we wanted to be,” says Andrew.
Ban katantaDiagnostic reagents are complex mixtures of biochemicals or chemicals used to generate accurate and precise patient test results. The manufacture of quality reagents at industrial scale is technically demanding.
Customers complained about the amount of waste. “They received a huge box with instructions in 20 languages and all the little bits and pieces that you'd need to put the reagents together and use them. Customers who ordered the same kit every month would just throw a large portion of the kit in the bin. Of course they were dissatisfied,” he says.
With persistence and patience, Andrew and his teammates developed a brand new packaging concept and Roche's first universal reagent kit was launched in 1995. Over the years, the design of the reagent carrier was further optimised. The newer versions were very easy to handle and contained an even large number of tests. In 2018, an even ‘greener’ version of the reagent carrier was introduced, a great career highlight for Andrew.