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Saturday, January 22nd, 2022

HHS invests more than $562M into manufacturing of domestic COVID-19 tests

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In recent weeks, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has invested more than $562 million into U.S. companies to boost domestic manufacturing of COVID-19 tests and supplies.

These funds, pulled from the American Rescue Plan Act, have benefited supplies such as pipette tips, protective packaging, swabs, and reagents for detecting the SARS-CoV-2 virus in samples. This, the Biden administration hopes, will actively expand COVID-19 testing capabilities and reinvigorate the supply chain while guaranteeing tests that are both high quality and easily used. So far, a dozen U.S. companies have benefited from these investments.

Recipients included: 

  • OraSure Technologies Inc. ($109 million) — for retrofit of a production facility and a new facility to boost manufacturing capability of rapid antigen self-tests for at-home testing
  • CSP Technologies ($19.27 million) — to scale up production capacity of protective packaging component Activ-Film 
  • Cepheid ($63.8 million) — to expand domestic production capacity of plastic overmold used in rapid test kits
  • Nalge Nunc International Corporation ($192.5 million) — to increase pipette tips used for COVID-19 sample collection and test processing
  • Porex Corporation ($16.2 million) — to increase production capacity of pipette tip filters that prevent specimen contamination
  • US Cotton ($6.5 million) — to increase production capacity of polyester-tipped swabs used for COVID-19 home test kits and in mass testing
  • Eurofins Genomics ($30 million) — to grow production capacity for manufacturing components used to test clinical specimens for SARS-CoV-2
  • Steripack ($14.7 million) — to expand production capability of collection vials used for nasal swab tests
  • Mettler-Toledo Rainin ($35.8 million) — to increase pipette tip production capacity for testing of collected samples and other critical diagnostic activities
  • QIAGEN Beverly, Inc and QIAGEN Sciences LLC ($4 million) — to grow manufacturing capacity of reagents and reagent kits that help detect SARS-CoV-2 in collected samples. This also supports the sought expansion of molecular laboratory testing for COVID-19.
  • Princeton BioMeditech Corp ($9.9 million) — to expand production capacity of COVID-19 testing and diagnostic kits
  • Luminostics ($2 million) — to increase production capacity of Clip COVID-19 Point-of-Care test kits
  • Labcon North America ($59.3 million) — to boost production capacity of pipette tips and tubes essential to COVID-19 testing and diagnostic activities

In all, according to President Joe Biden, the administration will move to invest as much as $3 billion into rapid testing efforts. The goal will be to quadruple the supply of at-home tests by December and increase the number of free testing sites.