HHS Invests $560 Million to Bolster Product Manufacturing to Increase Supply, Availability of COVID-19 Tests

COVID testImage by Fernando Zhiminaicela

WASHINTON, D.C. — The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it recently invested more than half a billion dollars from the American Rescue Plan to boost manufacturing of key products needed to increase domestic testing supply. These investments are an integral part of the Administration’s strategy to expand COVID-19 testing and make tests more widely available for Americans as we work to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect public health.

In recent weeks, HHS in partnership with the Department of Defense has awarded over $562 million to a dozen U.S. companies to support manufacturing of supplies like pipette tips, protective packaging, swabs, and reagents used to detect the virus in samples. Supporting manufacturing of needed products like these will help strengthen the supply chain for COVID-19 tests, including rapid at-home tests, with the goal of increasing supply and availability of tests that are high quality and easy to use.

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Last month, President Biden announced the Administration would invest a total of $3 billion in rapid testing in order to quadruple the supply of at-home tests by December, as well as increase the number of no-cost testing sites, including up to 30,000 pharmacies next month.

To bolster these efforts and expand upon HHS’ earlier investments this year to strengthen the availability of COVID-19 testing, HHS and DOD have recently made awards to:

  • OraSure Technologies Inc. was awarded $109 million to retrofit a production facility and a new additional facility with machinery to increase domestic manufacturing capability of rapid antigen self-tests for home care testing.
  • CSP Technologies was awarded $19.27 million to scale up production capacity of Activ-Film™  – an essential piece of protective packaging that ensures test integrity.
  • Cepheid was awarded $63.8 million contract to expand domestic production capacity of plastic overmold – an essential material for rapid test kits.
  • Nalge Nunc International Corporation, a subsidiary of Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc., was awarded $192.5 million to increase domestic manufacturing of pipette tips used for COVID-19 sample collection and test processing.
  • Porex Corporation was awarded $16.2 million to increase production capacity of pipette tip filters that prevent specimen contamination.
  • US Cotton was awarded $6.5 million to increase domestic production capacity of the polyester-tipped swabs used in COVID-19 home test kits and mass testing settings.
  • Eurofins Genomics was awarded $30 million to expand production capacity for the manufacturing of components used to test clinical specimens for the presence of SARS-CoV-2.
  • Steripack was awarded $14.7 million to kick start domestic production capability of collection vials used for nasal swab tests.
  • Mettler-Toledo Rainin was awarded $35.8 million to increase domestic production capacity of pipette tips for testing of collected samples and other critical diagnostic activities.
  • QIAGEN Beverly, Inc and QIAGEN Sciences LLC were awarded $4 million to expand manufacturing capacity of reagents and reagent kits used to detect SARS-CoV-2 in collected samples and essential for COVID-19 testing and diagnostics. This will directly support the expansion of domestic molecular laboratory testing for COVID-19.
  • Princeton BioMeditech Corp was awarded $9.9 million to expand production capacity of COVID-19 testing and diagnostic kits.
  • Luminostics was awarded $2 million to increase domestic production capacity of Clip COVID-19 Point-of-Care test kits.
  • Labcon North America was awarded $59.3 million to increase domestic production capacity of pipette tips and tubes that are essential for COVID-19 testing and diagnostic activities.
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