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Ortho Announces Plans to Accelerate COVID-19 Antigen and Antibody Test Development Through New Contract with BARDA and the Department of Defense

RARITAN, N.J., April 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Ortho Clinical Diagnostics (Nasdaq: OCDX), one of the world's largest pure-play IVD companies, today announced that through its continued partnership with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and the U.S. Department of Defense, the company been awarded an undefinitized contract which will lead to a $53.7 million contract that will support a more than three-fold increase in domestic production capabilities for its COVID-19 serological and diagnostic testing solutions. As part of BARDA's and the federal government's ongoing COVID-19 medical countermeasure development efforts, the new contract will deliver funding for capacity expansion to provide up to 6.7 million COVID-19 tests per month dedicated for the U.S. market by Q2 2022. The capacity expansion is designated for the company's VITROSSystems and two COVID-19 antibody testsA - Total and IgGA - as well as for its VITROS SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Test, the first high-volume antigen test to receive Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in the United States. "Ortho's ongoing partnership with BARDA and the Department of Defense to significantly expand our COVID-19 testing manufacturing capabilities underscores the continued and critical importance of bolstering the nation's testing infrastructure by leveraging highly accurate, automated and scalable diagnostic and serological tests that are FDA emergency use authorized," said Chris Smith, chairman and chief executive officer, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics. "Our high-volume testing solutions have already been an indispensable asset for hospitals, reference labs, and public health leaders across the country, particularly in rural and underserved communities. We look forward to expanding the availability of these testing solutions to communities in need."About Ortho's VITROS COVID-19 Testing SolutionsAuthorized for use in the U.S. in January 2021, Ortho's VITROSA® SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Test offers reliable detection of acute COVID-19 infection with high sensitivity and specificity. With utility for mass-scale testing and same-day results for labs, Ortho's antigen test can be processed at a rate of up to 130 tests per hour on a single analyzer, bolstering the ability of hospitals and reference labs to address testing backlogs, supply shortages, and delayed results that have undermined previous testing efforts. The VITROSA® SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Test also offers a practical and cost-effective testing alternative to polymerase-chain reaction (PCR) tests, which, while highly accurate, can be expensive and require long processing times during testing surges.
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