Facility To Increase Production of COVID-19 Test Tubes
Aug 31 2020
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) today participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.’s new $40 million production site in Lenexa dedicated to manufacturing viral transport media (VTM)-filled tubes for COVID-19 testing. The facility has created more than 300 new full-time jobs and added significant manufacturing capacity.
In early May, Thermo Fisher received a contract from the U.S. government to provide a significant quantity of highly specialized VTM-filled tubes for COVID-19 sample collection. VTM are available in a plastic tube that is suitable for collection and transport of clinical specimens containing viruses. This ensures that the sample collected from a COVID-19 nose swab maintains viability while it is transported to a lab for testing. Thermo Fisher has responded quickly to meet increased demand for VTM by ramping up production in Lenexa from 50,000 units per week to now more than 8 million per week.
“Widespread testing is a necessary component to keep the American economy running safely,” said Sen. Moran. “Thermo Fisher has stepped up to produce additional test tubes to help meet the national demand for COVID-19 testing and has created 300 new jobs by expanding its manufacturing base in Lenexa. Kansans never fail to do their part in our country’s time of need and this is no different. Thermo Fisher’s ability to manufacture test tubes and significantly increase production is important for making certain Americans can feel secure in their health and safely return to work.”
“Thermo Fisher is proud to support virtually every aspect of the global COVID-19 response and our colleagues in Lenexa have a key role in those efforts. Thanks to their hard work, Lenexa increased production of VTM units by more than 15,000%,” said Marc N. Casper, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Thermo Fisher Scientific. “The team has worked with unrelenting intensity to build out and open a new site in just six weeks. They understood the urgent national need, accepted the challenge and have delivered for Thermo Fisher, for the American people and for Kansas.”
To ensure the accuracy of COVID-19 test results, VTM must be manufactured and dispensed into tubes in an aseptic environment. The new facility is dedicated to accelerating production and ensuring quality control by utilizing the proven blueprint for high-quality VTM production that has been developed in Lenexa. In addition to supporting America’s pandemic response, the products will be used for collection and sampling for the flu and other viruses.
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