23-Feb-2005 - Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)

RSC names the Grove Centre an Historic Chemical Landmark

The Royal Society of Chemistry commemorated the work of The Grove Centre, formerly Amersham Laboratories, identifying it as a Historic Chemical Landmark. The Grove Centre was selected for its pioneering work in the life sciences as a major centre for the development of the medical and industrial applications of radioactivity in the UK during the past 60 years.

"We were delighted when GE Healthcare welcomed our proposal that a Historic Chemical Landmark plaque be placed at the Grove Centre to commemorate its achievements in the fields of industrial and medical applications. Work undertaken at the site in the 1940s played an important role in the war by making advances in military aircraft luminous instrumentation," said Dr. David Giachardi, chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

The Grove Centre's original site, the Chilcote House, was used as a government lab during the war to serve as a supplier of luminous paint for the dials of ships and aircrafts. In 1946, The Grove Centre was purchased for £40,000 by the government, where it remained a government-owned body until 1982, when Amersham became the first business to fully privatise under Margaret Thatcher's government. The Grove Centre/Amersham International eventually became the broadest-based supplier of radioactive materials in the world and leader across substantial parts of the market. In 2001, the site was renamed The Grove Centre, in recognition of its founder, Dr. Patrick Grove.

Since its early beginning, The Grove Centre has been the epicentre of technological advancements in chemistry. Breakthrough products include the first commercial RIA (radioimmunoassay) kit, for measuring the insulin level of diabetics, the world's first commercial cyclotron, which provided a reliable and secure supply of isotopes, and the Amertec(TM) technetium 99 generator, which serves as a source of precise amounts of radioactivity, required in diagnosing brain disease. The company has received fourteen Queen's Awards to date, nearly half of which were for Technological Innovation.

On 8 April 2004, Amersham PLC was acquired by the General Electric Company. The $10 Billion acquisition marries GE's medical imaging equipment with Amersham's medical diagnostic and life sciences business units. Together, the companies form the new GE Healthcare.

Facts, background information, dossiers
  • Amersham
  • Life Science
  • GE Healthcare
  • insulin
  • General Electric
  • brain diseases
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