Medical technology firm Hologic has secured a $119m contract from the US government to increase the production capacity of its Covid-19 molecular tests.

The contract will help Hologic to manage its capital and labour investments for the supplying of 13 million Covid-19 tests per month to the US market by January 2022.

The Department of Defense Joint Rapid Acquisition Cell, along with the Department of the Air Force’s Acquisition COVID-19 Task Force and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, has awarded the contract with BARDA funding to Hologic.

In addition, Hologic is supported by BARDA separately in the development of Covid-19 assays.

Hologic already secured FDA EUA status for Panther Fusion SARS-CoV-2 and Aptima SARS-CoV-2 assays

Hologic secured emergency use authorisation (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration for Panther Fusion SARS-CoV-2 and Aptima SARS-CoV-2 assays in March and May this year.

The fully automated Panther Fusion and Panther systems are used to run the tests. These systems offer initial results in around three hours and process over 1,000 tests in one day.

According to the company, over 2,000 of these systems were installed in clinical diagnostic laboratories across the globe, including in all 50 US states.

Hologic diagnostic solutions division president Kevin Thornal said: “Hologic has already made significant investments in our test production capacity, which have resulted in our contributing tens of millions of Covid tests to the United States supply.

“Our manufacturing teams continue to innovate to increase our contribution, and we are very pleased to partner with the federal government to further our ability to meet the ongoing public health need.”

In September this year, Hologic secured EUA status from FDA for its Panther Fusion SARS-CoV-2 assay to detect asymptomatic Covid-19 individuals.