NEW YORK – MilliporeSigma announced Wednesday after the close of the market that it has received a $136.7 million contract from the US Department of Defense for construction of a lateral flow membrane production facility at the company's Sheboygan, Wisconsin site.
The three-year contract is part of an effort to ensure secure local supply and production capacity for critical products for pandemic preparedness, according to the Burlington, Massachusetts-based firm said. It will enable the company, which is part of Darmstadt, Germany-based Merck KGaA, to "construct a state-of-the-art lateral flow membrane production facility that will give our in vitro diagnostic manufacturing customers greater flexibility and security of supply of our Hi-Flow Plus lateral flow membranes," said Matthias Heinzel, member of the executive board and CEO, Life Science, Merck KGaA.
The Hi-Flow Plus technology is used in rapid diagnostic test kit manufacturing for a variety of applications such as infectious disease testing, including SARS-CoV-2, influenza, HIV, and malaria, as well as women's health, drug testing, and food safety.
"Our lateral flow membranes have earned a reputation for high consistency among rapid diagnostic manufacturers and the already robust demand for this membrane has significantly increased since the onset of the pandemic," added Jean-Charles Wirth, head of Applied Solutions, Life Science, in the firm's statement. "With this critical investment, we are expanding much-needed access to essential diagnostic testing as a trusted partner to the world's most sophisticated diagnostic manufacturers."