The new facility, located in Carlsbad, is expected to produce 600 million QuickVue SARS rapid antigen tests


The facility is slated to become operational in the second half of 2021. (Credit: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay)

Diagnostic testing solutions provider Quidel has opened a new manufacturing facility for the mass production of QuickVue rapid antigen tests for Covid-19.

The 128,000ft² facility, which is claimed to be the firm’s highest-volume production plant in the world, is located in Carlsbad of California.

Slated to be operational in the second half of 2021, the facility aims to produce 600 million QuickVue SARS rapid antigen tests per annum for the detection and diagnosis of Covid-19 infections.

Quidel to recruit 400 new employees to scale operations

Quidel is planning to install multiple manufacturing lines at the Carlsbad facility, in addition to hiring around 400 new employees to scale the company’s operations.

The company aims to expand the production of 50 million QuickVue tests per year to 50 million tests per month at full capacity, including non-Covid-19 diagnostic assays currently in-market or under development.

In December 2020, the company secured emergency use authorisation (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its QuickVue SARS antigen test for Covid-19.

QuickVue lateral-flow technology, which is visually read by the user, delivers results in ten minutes from nasal swab samples.

QuickVue Covid-19 tests will be initially supplied to hospitals, physician offices, schools and pharmacies.

In addition, the company is seeking EUA for a new QuickVue at-Home Covid-19 test for over-the-counter sale directly to consumers.

Quidel president and CEO Douglas Bryant said: “From the first days of the pandemic, Quidel has stepped up to meet the Covid-19 challenge head-on with innovative diagnostic technologies to detect coronavirus infections and expanded manufacturing to democratize access to affordable and high-quality testing.

“The opening of our massive new QuickVue manufacturing plant is our boldest move yet and is expected to provide Quidel with the scale necessary to serve the needs of communities and institutions for frequent testing now and for years to come.”