News Archive

ROAR Forensics Provides International Training

May 2013

Renowned worldwide as one of the leading toxicology laboratories, ROAR Forensics was approached by the ‘Government Chemistry Laboratory Agency’ in Tanzania to provide analytical toxicology training. The training included practical laboratory workshops as well as lectures and seminars to discuss and impart pioneering knowledge with regards to the production, compilation and interpretation of first class toxicological results. ROAR Forensics' eminent toxicologist were personally involved in the training. The efficient and effective running of a successful toxicology laboratory was also explored. The training took place over a period of two weeks in May 2013 and was extremely successful.

This is not the first time ROAR Forensics has shared its strong analytical and interpretative toxicology aptitude worldwide. There have been previous comparable interactions with Barbados, South Africa and the Republic of Ireland.

As an innovative toxicology laboratory working to ensure it is always at the forefront of scientific capability, ROAR Forensics welcomes the opportunity to work on a worldwide platform.

ROAR Forensics Wins ‘Highly Commended’ Growth Business of the Year for Worcestershire Award

September 2012

The award was presented at the Three Counties Showground, Thursday 20 September 2012.

ROAR Forensics was announced as ‘Highly Commended’ winners of the Oakland International Award for ‘Growth Business of the Year’ at the annual Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce Business Awards.

Dr Simon Elliott, Managing Director of ROAR Forensics commented: “We are delighted to receive this award in recognition of the continued growth of the company, despite the overall economic downturn. The credit goes to our hardworking staff, in particularly challenging and interesting times for the Forensic Sector. We are looking forward to sustaining growth and continuing to provide a good service”.

ROAR Forensics is First UK Toxicology Laboratory to Gain Flexible ISO 17025 UKAS Accreditation

April 2012

We are very pleased to announce that extension of our UKAS ISO 17025 accreditation has been conferred by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service. This represents a major milestone in our quest to becoming the UK’s No 1 toxicology laboratory.

You are most welcome to download our Schedule of UKAS Accreditation [pdf 179KB] that identifies our flexible scope of accreditation, which means that our tests for existing and future prescription/medicinal drugs and drugs of abuse (including so called “Legal Highs”) are UKAS accredited within our flexible scope protocol – a future proofed system for ultimate quality assurance.

We are proud to be the first dedicated toxicology laboratory to be granted flexible UKAS accreditation, which offers our clients the highest level of quality assurance for all of their toxicological investigations and cases entrusted into our care.

With private forensic companies coming under increasing scrutiny and a proliferation in the number of “Designer Drugs”, we were keen to expand our scope of UKAS accreditation to meet the needs of our clients. We wanted to bring the forensics market added reassurance on the accuracy of our toxicology, irrespective of what drugs or poisons may be present. We seek to continuously improve in all that we do and this demonstrates quality as our priority.

In addition to this flexible scope accreditation status, we have also achieved UKAS accreditation for our drugs in hair testing laboratory. We are the first National Forensic Framework Agreement (police) approved forensic supplier to gain UKAS accreditation for drugs in hair testing.

If you are looking for 100% quality assurance for your toxicology results and a guarantee that we can determine the very latest legitimate and illegal drugs and poisons with UKAS 17025 accredited methods, then we would like to open discussions on how we can best support your requirements.

“Designer Drug” Screening Service

March 2012

Since the “Ecstasy” evolution of amphetamine-like drugs, there has been a steady introduction of “designer drugs” based on a variety of chemical frameworks. In recent years, piperazines (e.g. BZP and TFMPP) and cathinones (e.g. mephedrone, methylone, naphyrone and MDPV) have been sold as purported “legal highs”. However, even within existing groups new variants have been produced along with new chemical frameworks (e.g. aminoindanes – MDAI, 5-IAI and 2-AI) and other drug types (e.g. methoxetamine, D2PM and MPA).

This can be a particular analytical challenge and is often not covered within routine toxicology performed in most laboratories. But with our many years’ experience of “designer drugs” and utilising the very latest advanced analytical techniques, we are pleased to offer a ’’Designer Drug” Screening Service. This will be of specific interest to those clients who are tied to laboratories that cannot undertake this level of detailed analysis, whereas existing ROAR clients will already benefit from this comprehensive approach.

This unique service provides rapid detection of “designer drugs” in cases where they are suspected of having been used or where their use is required to be ruled out. Overall this facilitates better identification of cases involving designer drugs that may otherwise go undiscovered. Invaluable for HM Coroners, but it may also be of interest to other agencies involved in drug investigations.

Please contact the laboratory for further details on +44 (0)1684 585 282.

ROAR Forensics Acquired by Alere Inc.

October 2011

The Directors are very pleased to announce that ROAR Forensics has been acquired by Concateno UK Ltd, which is part of Alere Inc. ROAR Forensics’ approach to toxicology complements Concateno’s well-developed drug and alcohol testing services in the UK, European and international markets. It also strengthens Alere’s service offering in toxicology and forensic testing spaces.

‘There are distinct synergies for both companies’, noted Managing Director Simon Elliott, ‘and we are looking forward to working with the Alere team and leveraging our strengths for the benefit of the group globally’.

Alere Inc., an international healthcare company, is developing new capabilities in near-patient diagnosis, monitoring and health management that will enable individuals to take charge of improving their health and quality of life at home. Alere provides a range of products and services that focus on infectious disease, cardiology, oncology, toxicology and women's health. The company is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, USA.

New “Legal High” Encountered in Toxicology Casework – the “indans”

June 2011

Following on from previous “Legal Highs” such as the piperazines (e.g. BZP) and the cathinones (e.g. mephedrone), a new class of drugs has been encountered in casework - the “indans”. In particular, 2-aminoindan and MDAI (methylenedioxy-2-aminoindan) have been found, with MDAI being an indan derivative of MDMA (more commonly referred to as “Ecstasy”).

Indans are stimulant drugs often sold over the internet as research chemicals or plant food. Although some were developed and researched in the 1990’s, they are not known to have been reported in cases in the UK until now.

They are thought to produce “Ecstasy-like” effects of euphoria and heightened emotion by affecting serotonin in the brain, but very little information is currently available for the exact short-term and long-term effects.

We will notify our clients via a Technical Bulletin of further information as and when we are able to.

Caribbean Forensic Scientists Train at ROAR Forensics Laboratory

June 2011

As part of an exchange arrangement, Dr Simon Elliott welcomed two Forensic Toxicologists to our main laboratory in Malvern for a week of intensive training.

‘This visit was planned when I was over at the Forensic Science Centre in Barbados at the beginning of this year’ said Dr Elliott, ‘I had previously lectured in specific aspects of forensic toxicology and how they can support various forensic investigations faced by the scientific team on the island’.

The Head of Toxicology for the Barbados Forensic Sciences Centre, Patrick Best, and his colleague enjoyed spending time with us learning how we use complementary scientific techniques to provide detailed results quickly. Both UK and Bajan scientific teams exchanged experiences about how toxicology is applied differently and the challenges that each face. Needless to say, we hope to promote further exchanges with Forensic Toxicologists around the globe, as real benefits develop from sharing best practice internationally.

ROAR Forensics is Business of the Year Finalist

June 2011

We are very proud to announce that we have been nominated as one of the finalists for Small Business of the Year, a competition run by Hereford & Worcester Chamber of Commerce.

We won the Most Promising New Business title in 2009, but to be recognised again is a real endorsement of our growth and overall approach to developing a sustainable client focused toxicology service.

As always, we faced tough competition from various industry sectors, but the underlying fundamentals are common to all different types of businesses. Apart from delivering a responsive quality service, we feel the added importance of value for money has never been more of a priority in these times of restricted budgets. We look forward to the final in July and wish all nominees well.

ROAR Forensics Provides Guest Speaker for HM Coroners’ Training

December 2010

Julie Evans, one of our Consultant Toxicologists, was an invited guest speaker at the autumn residential training course for HM Coroners, Deputy Coroners and Assistant Deputy Coroners held in Leicester in November. The three day course was organised by the South Manchester HM Coroner John Pollard and centred on medical issues and child deaths.

Mrs Evans’ brief was to assist in developing a better awareness of toxicology and its use, limitations and potential pitfalls. The talk, entitled ‘Toxicology and Potential Pitfalls’ discussed the topic in broad terms and highlighted problems specific to the interpretation of toxicological results from children and the associated analytical complexities that need to be overcome. Case studies were presented that highlighted the various problems and pitfalls to add context for the audience.

Teaching methods employed on the course were a varied mixture of presentations and syndicate sessions. Mrs Evans contributed to syndicate sessions with questions based around the topics presented to benefit the learning process. Group discussions were lively and participants demonstrated a good understanding of those messages conveyed during the presentations.

Over 90 delegates from across England, Wales and the Channel Isles attended the training session and the feedback on the toxicology aspect was very positive, with many commenting that they had found it most helpful.

Apart from our formal CPD training packages, we are keen to support better understanding of toxicology and we are always pleased to attend events like this. During 2010 we have provided bespoke training packages to a number of police services, including Avon and Somerset, Thames Valley and West Midlands. If you would like us to bring toxicology to life for one of your training sessions, please just ask by contacting us via the webform. We would be delighted to provide support.

ROAR Forensics Hosts International Delegation for Toxicology Training

September 2009

Working with a mainstream forensic science supplier, ROAR Forensics hosted a delegation of scientists from Libya looking to establish a toxicology capability for a brand new forensic science agency.

This project will see several would-be forensic practitioners coming to the UK for forensic training in a variety of different disciplines. Both analytical techniques and expert interpretation of results will be on the curriculum. “Being able to generate accurate data is important”, said Dr Simon Elliott, Managing Director ROAR Forensics, “but interpreting the data into valuable toxicology information is the real skill that will be fundamental to cases where drugs are implicated. It is a real international challenge but we are pleased to be able to help export UK forensic skills and improve the knowledge base globally”.

ROAR Forensics Wins Most Promising New Business Award 2009

July 2009

At a lavish ceremony at Malvern Theatres, ROAR Forensics was awarded the prestigious title of Most Promising New Business of 2009 by Hereford and Worcester Chamber of Commerce.

Congratulated by the Chief Executive, Mike Ashton and the judges, Managing Director of ROAR Forensics, Dr Simon Elliott said: “It is an honour to receive such a prestigious award amongst outstanding local competition. We are pleased of the acknowledgement of our company’s success in such a short space of time, achieved through the hard work of the staff and support from business groups.” The judges were impressed by the company’s performance and customer focused approach to a specialised service.

HRH Princess Anne Visits ROAR Forensics

April 2009

The Princess Royal officially opened the Phase 3 building of Malvern Hills Science Park and toured the ROAR Forensics laboratory. The Princess and local dignitaries were impressed by the facilities and were interested in the activities of the company. Our particular expertise in the investigation of heroin cases was demonstrated and the Princess asked many insightful questions throughout her extended visit.

Other tenants, councillors and business leaders were present when the Princess unveiled the plaque to mark the completion of an exciting development at the Science Park.

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