Ellume earns $US230 million US government contract for rapid Covid-19 tests


Brisbane-based medtech company Ellume has been awarded a $US230 million contract by the United States Department of Defense to provide rapid Covid-19 tests.

Ellume received US Food and Drug Administration approval in December for its at-home tests, which are the only over-the-counter test available in that nation, produce a result about 20 minutes, and have a claimed accuracy rate of 95 per cent.

The Australian company told the Wall Street Journal that it was currently manufacturing 100,000 tests daily at Brisbane, and is on track to reach 200,000 a day during this quarter. As reported by @AuManufacturing and others, Ellume announced Bosch Australia Manufacturing Solutions as its automation partner in late-2020.

The ABC reports that much of the value of the order would go towards establishing a factory in Maryland, USA.

“They’ll be able to scale their production to manufacture more than 19 million test kits per month by the end of this year, 8.5 million of which are guaranteed to the US Government,” White House senior advisor Andy Slavitt said.

“The ability to quickly test, to contact trace and quarantine is a linchpin of our national strategy and will be a vital part of containing the virus and stopping community spread.”

The antigen tests detect protein fragments from a nasal swab, present a result via a user’s smartphone, and are available for the equivalent of around $40. (Home Covid tests are not legal in Australia.)  

Ellume currently employs roughly 350 at its Brisbane site and expects this to reach 500.

Picture: Ellume

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