Merck’s Life Science business sector has secured a contract award worth €121m from the US Department of Defense (DoD) to construct a lateral flow membrane production facility at the company’s site in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The new facility will produce the company’s Hi-Flow Plus lateral flow membrane, which is used in rapid diagnostic test kit manufacturing, including Covid-19. The contract awarded on behalf of the US Department of Health and Human Services, will help ensure secure supply and production capacity locally for critical products to prepare for the pandemic.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted emergency use authorization (EUA) for Siemens Healthineers’ CLINITEST Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test. The easy-to-use nasal swab test, which is expected to be available beginning January next year, will help to rapidly detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus and can provide visually read test results in just 15 minutes. It will be made broadly available through nationwide retail distribution. The FDA authorisation will give access to a new at-home or over-the-counter self-test in the country as testing needs for Covid-19 continue to increase.