Cansford Laboratories


Cansford Laboratories

Cansford Laboratories is John Wicks’ second venture into the commercial side of Drug Testing.

With a background in Clinical Biochemistry, he has been involved with drug testing through both therapeutic drugs and drugs of abuse for over 40 years. In 1997, John created TrichoTech Limited as a company to introduce hair testing for drugs to the UK. He sold the rights to the company in 2007 although, disappointingly the science and processes of drug testing were not developed by the buyers – John left the company in 2008.

Following this set back, in Feb 2011, Managing Director, John Wicks and co-Science Director, Dr Lolita Tsanaclis started Cansford Laboratories to bring to market the advantages of new instrument technology

***that has improved the sensitivity of the testing coupled with advances in Laboratory Information systems to control the processes***

Today, each of Cansford’s assays are extensively validated by exchanging samples via industry proficiency schemes and the company have had their processes validated by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). The Directors are particularly pleased that their new brand, Chromatox has just been assessed against the ISO:17025 standard, which is internationally applicable for testing laboratories.

The company is focused on directing their efforts on those sectors that really need to know whether their staff have drug problems, including the Transportation Industry, Security Services, Police forces, Armed Forces and Factories with dangerous machinery

Testing in the workplace

Cansford Laboratory have rapidly developed to offer hair testing for drugs and oral fluid testing. Using these two sample types, the company’s experts can cover what someone is using today and what they have been using over months.

Hair testing has some major advantages over urine and oral fluid testing for the security industry. It is particularly appropriate for those situations where ‘I really need to know whether she/he is using anything’. Urine cannot give the same level of confidence unless a sample is taken every three days. It is far more difficult to cheat a hair test. The sample can be taken in an open room and witnessed with no embarrassment, whereas an observed urine sample is somewhat degrading.

Instilling confidence in all; clients who use Cansford Laboratories testing can be certain that they are not unknowingly taking on someone who has a problem with drugs. If the person has skills that outweigh the drugs risk then support can be put in place. The test will detect use before the individual knew there was a job to apply for. On the other hand, urine testing has been described as an ‘intelligence test’. By abstaining for 3 to 4 days and staying well hydrated a user can defeat the test.

Revolutionising the industry

John Wicks introduced Hair testing to the UK, whilst establishing his first company, TrichoTech. From 1997 to 2007, the company developed the testing for clinics, family care solicitors and for use in criminal proceedings. Hair testing has formed the backbone of drug assessments of parents in the family courts since TrichoTech first introduced it.

Active globally, Cansford Laboratories accept hair samples from anywhere in the world. The sample is very robust and stable. Cansford are looking to move forward by establishing relatively small laboratories in locations throughout the world with dynamic teams to run them.

Speaking of Cansford Laboratories future aspirations, John said: “The company’s strategy is to take the technology as close to the end user as possible. So, if we can see a continuing need, we will place a laboratory in any country in the world. All laboratories will operate to identical standards and communicate developments and best practice between them.”

Taking his expertise and experience further afield, John has already spent some years in the Middle East setting up a drugs of abuse testing laboratory. And in partnership with co-Director, Dr Lolita Tsanaclis has published and actively developed the science over the last 18 years.

Recently, the pair have taken their experience to Brazil and established a company, Chromatox, to deliver hair testing for drugs to Brazil from an indigenous Laboratory. Cansford Laboratories are also developing plans to do the same transfer of technology to Melbourne, Australia.

In concluding, John explained: “Cansford is a laboratory consisting of highly motivated people committed to giving the best service possible. We consistently turnaround our testing within 3 days, for all samples. Our accreditation schedule includes more drugs than our competitors. We will deliver the right results, quicker than anyone else at a price that is no more expensive.”

Cansford Laboratories are based at Cardiff Medicentre and can be contacted on 029 206 82031. For further information, please visit the company’s website at

Contact Number: 029 206 82031