Becton, Dickinson and Co. on Friday said it received a $24 million investment from the government to ramp up its production of COVID-19 test kits.
Franklin Lakes-based BD said the U.S. Department of Defense in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is investing the money in the hopes the company can boost its production capacity by 50 percent to produce more than 12 million BD Veritor Solution for Rapid Detection of SARS-CoV-2 test kits per month by next February.
“Making COVID-19 diagnostic tests widely available is critical to expanding rapid detection of COVID-19 infections, and mitigating the impact of the disease by identifying affected patients, quickly quarantining infectious individuals and tracing their contacts,” said Dave Hickey, president of integrated diagnostic solutions for BD. “This investment will bolster our U.S. manufacturing capabilities helping us quickly scale our production of point-of-care COVID-19 tests to ensure we have a robust supply for our U.S. customers.”
BD announced it received FDA emergency use authorization for the BD Veritor Plus SARS-CoV-2 antigen assay on July 6, and plans to leverage its growing U.S. installed base of more than 25,000 BD Veritor Plus instruments to enable the deployment of the SARS-CoV-2 assay across the U.S.
The easy-to-use design of the instrument, slightly larger than a cell phone, makes it ideal for use in a variety of clinical settings including hospitals, clinician offices, urgent care centers, and retail pharmacies, where it has already been used in influenza, group A strep and RSV testing for several years.