RICHMOND MP Rishi Sunak has praised the efforts of a Stokesley firm engaged in the battle against coronavirus.

IT-IS International makes DNA analysis machines, which are used to detect the virus that causes Covid-19.

The 20-employee company on the Stokesley Business Park has been working flat out since the start of the pandemic to meet unprecedented demand for its machines, which it exports all over the world

It has doubled production capacity to produce 300 machines a month.

Mr Sunak said he was immensely proud that a small company in Stokesley was making such a major contribution to the effort to defeat coronavirus.

He said: “IT-IS have responded magnificently to the challenge, stepping up production as much as possible while meeting the rigorous quality standards.

“I commend the whole team for the way they have worked so hard through the pandemic, meeting the demands of their customers when the need for their technology has been so high.

”It is inspiring to see Great British engineering at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19.”

Rod Fuerst, chief executive officer of IT-IS International, said the skills of his team had really shone as they coped with the challenge of a once-in-a-thousand-year event.

“We are a small business operating in a global market in competition with some very big firms,” he said. “It was really important that we remained focused on maintaining our strict quality control while ramping up production as much as we could.”

He said it had been pleasure to show Mr Sunak the work that his team was doing.

The company’s technology in the MyGo qPCR instrumentation and application enables mobile Covid-19 analysis and test results that can be achieved in as little as 30 minutes from a swab.