Aussie COVID-19 test maker plans manufacturing site near federal partners in MD

Aussie COVID-19 test maker plans manufacturing site near federal partners in MD

May 12, 2021

Ellume, an Australian biotech diagnostics company that developed a COVID-19 test as been part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) Initiative, is positioning itself for future public-private partnerships by establishing its first U.S.-based manufacturing operation in Frederick County, Maryland.

In February, the company signed a $231.8 million agreement with the Department of Defense in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services to accelerate domestic production of its at-home COVID-19 test. The test received an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration on December 15.

Ellume, based in East Brisbane in Queensland, said this operation will create more than 1,500 new jobs for Marylanders by the end of 2022. The company will lease about 200,000 square feet in two new buildings to accommodate the demand for its diagnostic products targeting infectious diseases.

“We are thrilled to have attracted a global leader like Ellume, which is at the forefront of diagnostic testing for a host of infectious diseases, including coronavirus,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz. “Being in Maryland will not only bring the company closer to their existing key federal partners, but will also provide access to our highly-educated workforce, research labs and critical mass of resources that make our state an ideal place for a life sciences company to succeed.”

To assist with costs related to the development project, the Maryland Department of Commerce is working with the company on a conditional loan through Advantage Maryland. Frederick County approved the project for Turbo Fast Track Permitting to meet the company’s timeline and the project is eligible for county tax credits over the next 6 years. Additionally, Ellume is eligible for for local workforce services.

“We look forward to building the foundation for Ellume’s long-term vision in the U.S. and recruiting the highly skilled talent in Maryland’s Biotech Corridor needed to fuel our flagship U.S. facility,” said Jeff Boyle, PhD, Ellume U.S. president. “Frederick is the ideal location for Ellume as we continue to work closely with the U.S. government in delivering COVID-19 tests to communities across the country. The facility will serve as a foundation for Ellume to support the domestic response to the COVID-19 pandemic and better prepare the U.S. for future public health crises.”

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