INNOVA Medical Group has announced plans to manufacture its rapid Covid-19 tests in the UK through a partnership with Sharp Packaging.
Innova is investing in a facility in Rhymney, South Wales, that will have the capacity to produce 1.2m lateral flow device tests per day. It also plans to make additional investments later in the year to expand the capacity further.
Innova has a partnership with Sharp Packaging, part of UDG Healthcare, which has experience in contract packaging and clinical services. The initial packaging machinery will be delivered to the facility at the end of June with production expected to begin in early July. The facility will be the first to produce the Innova tests in the UK.
Innova tests are already in use in the UK, despite some controversy over their use as they are not as accurate as the lab-based PCR tests and some experts say that they should not be used to indicate that someone is not infectious. According to The Financial Times, Innova has already supplied the UK with more than 1bn tests produced in China as part of contracts worth more than £3bn (US$4.3bn). Globally, Innova plans to reach production of 50m tests a day by the end of this year.
Daniel Elliott, President and CEO of Innova Medical Group, said: “Innova understands the importance of speed in the fight against the pandemic, and strategic contract manufacturing allows us to start local production quickly. By domestically sourcing as much of the processes as possible, we are confident this partnership with Sharp will deliver value to our UK customers. We look forward to the launch of Innova’s lateral flow test production in Wales and to expanding that into other markets and regions across the UK.”
Ian Morgan, General Manager of Sharp UK, said: “We are delighted to collaborate with Innova to support the manufacturing of its Covid-19 lateral flow test kits, right here in the UK where they’ll be used.”
Vaughan Gething, Economy Minister of Wales said: “Wales welcomes Innova’s investment and the hundreds of new job opportunities it creates, boosting the local economy and further enhancing Wales’ reputation in the life sciences sector.”
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