26 September 2023

Industry called to make COVID-19 tests

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The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources has put a call out for manufacturers capable of producing COVID-19 test kits to come forward and assist in Australia’s response to the pandemic.

“We want to hear from you – securing Australia’s COVID-19 testing capacity is one of the Australian Government’s highest priorities,” the Department said in a statement.

It said it was already working with Australian companies to produce inputs for COVID-19 testing, with formal responses now being sought via AusTender.

“While the global market is adjusting and scaling up to meet heightened demand, Australia’s ability to manufacture testing kits locally will reduce our vulnerability to global supply chain disruption,” it said.

“Manufacturing domestically may also contribute to global testing capacity.”

In its AusTender brief, the Department says it is seeking information on domestic capabilities to manufacture, and potential to increase capacity to manufacture, a range of components of the test including a viral transport medium, nucleic acid extraction kits, essential chemical inputs and automated nucleic acid extraction platforms.

“The Department is mapping domestic production capability of specific components needed for the SARS-COV2 RT-PCR-based early detection test kit,” it said.

It said Australian manufacturers with the capabilities outlined in the AusTender contract brief should visit the AusTender website, which can be accessed at this PS News link.

The AusTender process ends on 17 April.

The move follows an earlier call by the Department for expressions of interest from companies capable of supplying swabs suitable for COVID-19 sample collection.

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