Covid-19 manufacturing roundup: Biden pumps $500M into domestic testing production; Valneva mulls production deal
The US Department of Health and Human Services has invested an additional $562 million in US companies to boost the domestic manufacturing of Covid-19 tests and supplies, it announced last week.
A dozen companies were recipients of the funding, which included money to support the manufacturing of pipette tips, protective packaging, swabs and reagents used to detect the virus in samples.
Among the recipients were OraSure Technologies, which received $109 million to retrofit a manufacturing facility and build a new one to up domestic manufacturing for rapid antigen self-tests; Cepheid, which landed $63.8 million to produce plastic over mold; and Nalge Nunc International, a subsidiary of Thermo Fisher Scientific, which took home $192.5 million to ramp pipette tip manufacturing for sample collection and test processing.
Other companies that received funding include:
- Luminostics, $2 million
- Labcon, $59.3 million
- Princeton BioMeditech, $9.9 million
- Steripack, $14.7 million
- US Cotton,$6.5 million
- Porex, $16.2 million
- Eurofins Genomics, $30 million.
President Joe Biden’s administration is moving to invest as much as $3 billion into the rapid testing efforts, in hopes of quadrupling the at-home test supply in time for the holiday season. The funds have been pulled from the American Rescue Plan Act.
Valneva could turn to CMO if demand calls for partnership
Amid high demand for its Covid-19 vaccine following positive Phase III trial results, Valneva could land a deal with a contract manufacturing organization to up its production capacity for the jab.
The company announced its jab had induced superior neutralizing antibody titer levels over AstraZeneca’s AZD1222 when pitted head-to-head in the trial, though both treatment groups saw a similar number of infections. The company is touting a “significantly more favorable” tolerability profile.
Valneva started commercially manufacturing VLA2001 in Livingston, Scotland, in January. The company’s Solna, Sweden site carries out fill-finish operations.
On Sept. 13, Valneva announced that the UK back out of its deal for 100 million doses.