Thermo Fisher Cuts Ribbon on $40


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Feb 14, 2024

Thermo Fisher Cuts Ribbon on $40

PlasticsToday Staff | Aug 31, 2020 How’s this for an exercise in agility? It only took Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. six weeks to build a $40-million COVID-19 test-tube manufacturing plant. A

PlasticsToday Staff | Aug 31, 2020

How’s this for an exercise in agility? It only took Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. six weeks to build a $40-million COVID-19 test-tube manufacturing plant. A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the 120,000-square-foot-facility in Lenexa, KS, was held on Aug. 28 in the company of approximately 200 socially distanced guests.

Dedicated to the production of viral transport media (VTM), the site will continue to expand to meet expected sustained demand for COVID-19 testing, said Thermo Fisher. So far, the facility has resulted in the creation of more than 300 new full-time jobs.

Thermo Fisher contracted with the US government in early May to provide a significant quantity of specialized VTM for COVID-19 sample collection. VTM is dispensed into plastic tubes that are used to safely collect and transport clinical specimens containing viruses. This ensures that the sample collected from a COVID-19 nose swab maintains viability while it is shipped to a lab for testing. Thermo Fisher ramped up production of VTM in Lenexa from 50,000 units per week to more than 8 million per week currently.

"Thermo Fisher is proud to support virtually every aspect of the global COVID-19 response and our colleagues in Lenexa have played a key role in those efforts," said Gianluca Pettiti, Senior Vice President and President of the company's Specialty Diagnostics business. "Thanks to their hard work, Lenexa significantly increased production of VTM units. The team has worked with unrelenting intensity to build out and open a new site in just about six weeks. They understood the urgent national need, accepted the challenge, and have delivered for the American people,” said Pettiti.

Company executives and government leaders, including Governor Laura Kelly, US Senator Jerry Moran, and Lenexa City Mayor Michael Boehm, attended the ribbon cutting on August 28.

"Widespread testing is a necessary component to keep the American economy running safely," said Senator Moran. "Thermo Fisher has stepped up to produce additional test tubes to help meet the national demand for COVID-19 testing and has created 300 new jobs by expanding its manufacturing base in Lenexa. Kansans never fail to do their part in our country's time of need, and this is no different. Thermo Fisher's ability to manufacture test tubes and significantly increase production is important for making certain Americans can feel secure in their health and safely return to work."

"I'm grateful to the team at Thermo Fisher for the many ways they've stepped up for the health and safety of people in Kansas and across the country," said Governor Kelly. "This facility will do important work innovating and supporting the tools we have to fight this pandemic. I applaud Thermo Fisher's commitment to this critical endeavor."

To ensure accuracy of COVID-19 test results, VTM must be manufactured and dispensed into tubes in an aseptic environment. The new facility is dedicated to accelerating production and ensuring quality control by utilizing the proven blueprint for high-quality VTM production that has been developed in Lenexa. In addition to supporting America's pandemic response, the products will be used for collection and sampling for flu and other viruses.

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