Brisbane firm scores major $42m US Covid-fighting contract
BRISBANE-based diagnostics company Ellume has been awarded $US30m ($42m) to fast track three COVID-19 tests for the US market.
The company will scale up to produce 15 million products a month from its Richlands facility where an extra 500 people have been employed.
The money is part of the US National Institutes of Health initiative to accelerate clinical testing and manufacturing of COVID-19 tests.
Ellume founder and chief executive Dr Sean Parsons said its technology would be used to create three distinct COVID-19 antigen tests suited for at-home, point-of-care and laboratory settings, each capable of delivering results in less than 15 minutes.
He said the at-home test allowed people to take their own nasal swab that was then analysed via a Bluetooth-connected device and the person's smartphone with the result able to be then sent on for real time reporting.
Another version is designed for medical clinics and pharmacies while a third one is for mass rapid testing at places like airports, stadiums and church gatherings.
Manufacturing has begun and tests will launch in the US after they receive emergency use authorisation there.
"To be the first Australian diagnostics company to have $US30m support from the US is a notable achievement for us and Queensland-based technology," Dr Parsons said.
He said low COVID levels in Queensland meant the company could scale-up manufacturing easily and all the tests would then be flown to the US. Australia is yet to allow in-home testing.
Originally published as Brisbane firm scores major $42m US Covid-fighting contract