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US Department of Defense Awards $647M to Procure Rapid Antigen Tests

NEW YORK – The US Department of Defense announced on Friday that in coordination with the US Department of Health and Human Services it has awarded four procurement contracts totaling $647 million to four companies to purchase over-the-counter COVID-19 test kits.

In a statement the DoD said it has awarded a contract to OraSure Technologies valued at $205.2 million for the delivery of 20.6 million test kits. A contract to Quidel valued at $284.2 million covers the delivery of 25.6 million tests. A contract to Abbott valued at $47.8 million covers the delivery of 3.8 million tests. And a contract to Intrivo Holdings valued at $109.8 million covers the delivery of 10 million test kits.

All of the contracts run from October 2021 through September 2022.

In a separate statement, OraSure Technologies specified on Monday that it will provide its InteliSwab COVID-19 Rapid Test to 25,000 sites under the terms of a contract.

The firm's InteliSwab rapid antigen tests were granted Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration in June. The test uses a self-collected lower nostril swab sample, with results appearing on the test stick within 30 minutes.

Stephen Tang, president and CEO of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based OraSure, said in a statement that the firm believes testing will play a critical role in controlling the Delta variant outbreak and help to prevent future outbreaks.

"We believe widespread testing will allow Americans to return to work and school safely, as well as save lives and livelihoods," Tang said, adding that InteliSwab "is uniquely suited to fulfill this mission as it was designed to be one of the simplest rapid antigen tests."

OraSure said it anticipates incurring significant incremental manufacturing and operating expenses in the second half of fiscal year 2021 to meet the terms of the contract, as well as a "preponderance of revenue" associated with the contract in calendar year 2022.