Lumos aborts planned RAT factory in Melbourne

A planned rapid diagnostics test factory in Melbourne, which was awarded the backing of the Victorian government earlier this year, will not go ahead, Lumos Diagnostics told investors on Monday morning.

Lumos, which listed on the ASX in July last year after a $63 million IPO, said its board decided they were not currently in a position to allocate the required capital investment and human resources “to support the establishment of such a facility within the intended timeframes. 

“In light of this, the Company has advised the Victorian State Government that it cannot participate in the establishment of this facility at this time.”

The Victorian government  announced in February that it was to secure priority supply from Lumos of Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs.) The shortage of tests – and the federal government’s decision to import these – had become a charged issue during the Omicron Covid-19 variant breakout over the summer.

“If approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, Lumos, who are already making RATs for Canadian and European markets, will produce one million tests a month from April, three million a month after July, with full production from October onwards of up to 50 million RATs each year,” reads an announcement from premier Daniel Andrews in February.

Lumos was expected to initially produce RATs at Planet Innovation’s factory in Box Hill (Lumos spun off from PI in 2015) before opening a new site at Blackburn, predicted to create 70 new jobs.

Manufacture of a wide range of other tests, including for STDs, flu and tropical diseases, was also planned for the Rapid Diagnostics Manufacturing Facility and Innovation Hub.

Lumos said it was carefully watching its investment and operational decisions, citing a recent decision to shut a factory in Florida.

“While we continue to see great potential for establishing a diagnostics capability in  Victoria, at this time Lumos needs to focus on leveraging its existing assets rather than investing in new assets,” said Lumos CEO Doug Ward.

“Lumos is currently concentrating on securing regulatory clearances to drive commercial sales  revenue from its portfolio of point-of-care diagnostics products, and on leveraging its reader technology and established development services and manufacturing capability in Carlsbad, to grow its Commercial Services business.”

Image credit: Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Subscribe to our free @AuManufacturing newsletter here.

Share this Story

Stay Informed

Go to Top