COVID-19 related manufacturing capacity update
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UK production line to be established for PrimeStore MTM sample collection kits
EKF Diagnostics Holdings plc (AIM: EKF), the AIM quoted point-of-care business, announces that further to yesterday’s announcement regarding the significant increase in manufacturing demand for the PrimeStore MTM sample collection device, the Company is in the final stages of establishing a UK production line at the Company’s facilities in Penarth, South Wales, which could produce 12,500 sample collection tubes a day. Devices made at this site will be used in the UK.
Global demand for the PrimeStore MTM device has increased significantly due to COVID-19. The PrimeStore MTM sample collection device, deactivates viruses, bacteria, fungi and mycobacterium tuberculosis allowing safe sample handling and transport, greatly reducing risk of infection. The device was invented in 2006 in preparation for a worldwide pandemic and is designed to de-activate pathogen rapidly and stabilise the RNA for up to four weeks with no requirement for cold storage. In the case of COVID-19, by inactivating the virus testing can now take place outside of containment facilities opening up capacity in more testing laboratories.
The Company expects to ship first products from the new production line in Penarth in mid-May, if not sooner, and will provide further updates to shareholders as appropriate. Following the successful establishment of the production line in Wales, the Company will look to increase manufacturing capacity for the PrimeStore MTM device further, via its two sites in Germany. This will increase the capacity to supply sample collection devices into mainland Europe.
The establishment of the production line will see EKF increase staffing levels at the Penarth facility with 12 temporary contracts, with these positions being filled by local workers, recently out of work due to the impact of the pandemic or on leave from their studies.
Commenting, Julian Baines, CEO of EKF Diagnostics, said: “We are very pleased to be supporting international efforts to monitor and limit the spread of Coronavirus globally. The newly established production line in South Wales will help us to meet the growing demand for these sample collection kits, to ensure that COVID-19 samples can be handled and transported without the need for expensive refrigeration or fear of contamination.
“Whilst the majority of these kits that we make are being sold and used in volume across the US, the sample collection kits are currently under review for use in the UK and our new manufacturing capability in Penarth will allow us to readily supply an effective tool for supporting the ramp up in COVID-19 testing which is urgently needed in the UK.”
EKF Diagnostics Holdings plc
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