Two federal contracts amounting to $25 million were awarded to Siemens Healthineers by the United States Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Defense (DoD) this month to develop and support domestic production of COVID-19 tests.
The tests use either a nose or possibly saliva sample to detect SARS-CoV-2 antigens as a means of determining whether someone is infected with the virus, which causes COVID-19. Siemens already 2,000 fully automated immunoassay analyzing platforms in hospitals and labs throughout the country, bolstering its analysis capabilities. Production of the tests will begin if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorizes their use.
The original contract, awarded earlier this month, amounted to $13 million from HHS to help develop the tests. The follow-up $12 million contract from HHS and DoD, issued this week, will support domestic production of two diagnostic tests and updates to Siemens’ Massachusetts facility, which will allow it to produce up to 50 million tests per month in a few months. This will be achieved through the purchase of specialized equipment and other modifications.
Both contracts were funded by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) through the Paycheck Protection and Health Care Enhancement Act. For the most recent contract, BARDA collaborated with the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, the Department of Defense Assisted Acquisition Cell, and the Department of the Air Force’s Acquisition COVID-19 Task Force.