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Becton Dickinson Awarded $24M from HHS, DoD to Boost Coronavirus Test Manufacturing

NEW YORK — Becton Dickinson said on Thursday that it has received $24 million from the US Department of Health and Human Services and the US Department of Defense to help scale up production of its BD Veritor Plus SARS-CoV-2 assay.

The test, which received Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration earlier this month, is designed to detect viral antigens in nasal swab specimens and runs on the company's portable BD Veritor Plus Analyzer Instrument. 

According to BD, the $24 million investment will enable it to increase its production capacity by 50 percent, enabling the manufacture of more than 12 million SARS-CoV-2 test kits a month by the end of February 2021.

In mid-July, the HHS agreed to buy 2,000 BD Veritor Plus systems and 750,000 SARS-CoV-2 viral antigen tests from Franklin Lakes, New Jersey-based BD. 

The HHS and DoD also recently committed up to $7.6 million to Hologic to help that company expand production of custom sample collection and processing consumables for SARS-CoV-2 testing.