Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) jointly announced a $12.7 million contract with InBios International Inc., of Seattle, to expand domestic production capacity for two rapid point-of-care tests for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The first, called the SCoV-2 Ag Detect Kit, detects current infections by identifying antigens – genetic material – of the virus in a nose swab sample. The second test, called the SCoV-2 Detect IgM/IgG Kit, detects antibodies for the virus in a finger prick of blood, indicating whether the person had a previous COVID-19 infection.
The contract announced today enables InBios to ramp up production of either or both tests to 400,000 units per week – 20 times the facility’s current output – by May 2021, significantly expanding the nation’s testing capacity.
To support expansion of the company’s domestic production, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Developmental Authority (BARDA, part of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response), collaborated with 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. BARDA funded the contract under the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act.
In addition, BARDA supported development of the InBios SCoV-2 Detect IgM/IgG Kit, one of 33 COVID-19 diagnostic tests in BARDA’s development portfolio. Of these, 16 have received FDA emergency use authorization and BARDA-supported partners have shipped more than 50 million tests to healthcare providers across the country.
HHS works to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans, providing for effective health and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health, and social services. In addition to supporting companies and federal partners in ramping up U.S.-based production of COVID-19 testing, the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health is leading America to healthier lives through promoting vaccination across the lifespan, developing the nation’s report card for health (Healthy People 2030), ending America’s HIV epidemic, preventing and treating substance use disorders, and improving the lives of all suffering health disparities, with a special emphasis on Sickle Cell Disease.
The mission of ASPR is to save lives and protect Americans from 21st century health security threats. Within ASPR, BARDA invests in the innovation, advanced research and development, acquisition, and manufacturing of medical countermeasures – vaccines, drugs, therapeutics, diagnostic tools, and non-pharmaceutical products needed to combat health security threats. To date, BARDA-supported products have achieved 56 FDA approvals, licensures or clearances. For more on BARDA’s portfolio for COVID-19 diagnostics, vaccines and treatments and about partnering with BARDA, visit medicalcountermeasures.gov. To learn more about federal support for the all-of-America COVID-19 response, visit coronavirus.gov.