Virginia-based COVID-19 saliva test manufacturer to open Ogden production facility


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Jan. 28, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A Virginia-based molecular diagnostics company that produces COVID-19 saliva tests is opening a production facility in Ogden.

MicroGEM announced its acquisition of Jump Start Manufacturing LLC, a New Hampshire-based engineering company, said a news release. The acquisition allows MicroGEM to rapidly scale production of its Spitfire6830 SARS-CoV-2 testing system, a polymerase chain reaction-based point-of-need saliva test.

In addition to its pilot-scale manufacturing facility in Charlottesville, MicroGEM announced it has established new large-scale production facilities in Ogden, and Hudson, New Hampshire, with plans to create more than 500 jobs between both locations, the news release said.

The facilities, with more than 120,000 square feet combined, give MicroGEM the capability of producing 160,000 tests per day.

“We are proud to join forces with the talented Jump Start team to accelerate the production and deployment of our innovative Spitfire6830 SARS-CoV-2 testing system,” said MicroGEM CEO Jeff Chapman. “Bringing Jump Start’s leading manufacturing capabilities and expertise under the MicroGEM umbrella and dramatically expanding our production capabilities will ensure that more Americans have greater access to high-quality COVID-19 tests — bringing key tools to help end this devastating pandemic.”

MicroGEM’s Spitfire6830 system is designed to detect SARS-CoV-2 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals, the news release said. The system is in final stages of development with preparations underway for submission to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Emergency Use Authorization.

“The unique capability of the Spitfire6830 to quickly provide highly sensitive and specific identification of SARS-CoV-2 from saliva samples puts MicroGEM at the cutting edge of point-of-need diagnostics,” said Jump Start founder, Thomas Moran, who joins MicroGEM as Chief Operations Officer overseeing all manufacturing activities. “Jump Start is thrilled to join the MicroGEM team, enabling us to help bring this low-cost, high-quality test to market while ensuring our Jump Start customers continue to receive the high-touch service they expect and deserve.”

MicroGEM’s Spitfire project has been funded in part by the NIH Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics initiative with federal funds from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services.

To learn more about job openings at MicroGEM, click here.


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