Charlottesville’s MicroGEM acquires engineering company for COVID-19 test manufacturing
MicroGEM to 'rapidly scale' production of testing systems
Charlottesville-based molecular diagnostics company MicroGEM announced Thursday it has acquired New Hampshire-based engineering company Jump Start Manufacturing LLC.
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but the acquisition will allow MicroGEM to “rapidly scale” production of its SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) testing system, which is designed to detect the virus in both symptomatic and asymptomatic people. Under the acquisition, MicroGEM plans to produce 160,000 COVID tests per day, with a goal to produce 4 million tests per month by April. Founded in 2006, Jump Start specializes in biotech and pharmaceutical engineering.
“We are proud to join forces with the talented Jump Start team to accelerate the production and deployment of our innovative Spitfire6830 SARS-CoV-2 testing system,” MicroGEM CEO Jeff Chapman said in a statement. “Bringing Jump Start’s leading manufacturing capabilities and expertise under the MicroGEM umbrella and dramatically expanding our production capabilities will ensure that more Americans have greater access to high-quality COVID-19 tests – bringing key tools to help end this devastating pandemic.”
MicroGEM’s Spitfire6830 system is in its final stages of development and the company is preparing to submit it to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization.
“The unique capability of the Spitfire6830 to quickly provide highly sensitive and specific identification of SARS-CoV-2 from saliva samples puts MicroGEM at the cutting edge of point-of-need diagnostics,” Jump Start founder Thomas Moran said in a statement. “Jump Start is thrilled to join the MicroGEM team, enabling us to help bring this low-cost, high-quality test to market while ensuring our Jump Start customers continue to receive the high-touch service they expect and deserve.”
Moran will join MicroGEM as chief operations officer and will oversee all manufacturing activities.