Health technology innovation and commercialisation company Planet Innovation will collaborate with rapid point-of-care diagnostics company Lumos Diagnostics to establish a Rapid Diagnostics Manufacturing Facility and Innovation Hub in Victoria.
The facility that will manufacture rapid antigen tests (RATs) will be established with $17.2 million in funding from the Victorian government.
The companies said the facility could start production in April and be producing up to three million RATs by July 2022. At full capacity, the facility could produce 50 million RATs each year.
The facility will be able to produce a variety of diagnostic tests including those for tropical diseases, influenza, reproductive health and chronic disease management.
Planet Innovation (PI) co-CEO Stuart Elliott said, “PI will bring its breadth of medtech expertise to create a world-class operation that will support Victoria through the current COVID pandemic and into the future, with the capabilities to produce a range of diagnostic tests.
“In conjunction with Lumos and the Victorian Government, Planet Innovation will also initiate steps for building a powerful innovation ecosystem in rapid diagnostics that will engage a range of local organisations in the advancement of Victoria’s medtech manufacturing sector.”
The project is expected to create approximately 70 ongoing jobs.
Premier Daniel Andrews said, “Manufacturing rapid antigen tests in Victoria will protect and secure the state’s supply chain and create local jobs.
“Being able to scale up production so quickly shows the strength of Victoria’s advanced manufacturing capabilities.”
Lumos’ COVID-19 RAT test CoviDx will be manufactured at an existing space provided to Lumos via Planet Innovation, its founding shareholder.
Lumos Diagnostics Executive Chair Sam Lanyon added, “As a global leader in rapid point-of-care (POC) diagnostic technologies, we’re proud to work with Planet Innovation and support the Victorian Government, to manufacture and deliver critical, rapid diagnostic tests.
“Lumos will leverage its global experience, that has seen it create critical infrastructure and world-class technology in North America, to support the establishment of a Victorian manufacturing hub for rapid diagnostics.
“We are thrilled that as an organisation that was founded in Victoria, we are able to answer the call and support the creation of jobs, capability and future proof Victoria’s needs for rapid testing.”