The United States has reached a $230 million deal with the company behind a rapid COVID-19 test that can produce results at home in about 15 minutes, President Biden's administration announced Monday.
Andy Slavitt, White House COVID-19 response adviser, said the Department of Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services have awarded $230 million to Ellume, the company that manufactures the first over-the-counter, fully at-home COVID-19 test to be authorized by the FDA, so they can "scale the manufacturing base and capacity" of the test, per The Wall Street Journal.
"Thanks to this contract, they'll be able to scale their production to manufacture more than 19 million test kits per month by the end of this year, 8.5 million of which are guaranteed to the U.S. government," Slavitt said.
Slavitt also said the company was set to ship 100,000 test kits per month to the U.S. from February through July.
The FDA authorized the Ellume COVID-19 Home Test for emergency use in December, with then-FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn saying this would allow it to be "sold in places like drug stores, where a patient can buy it, swab their nose, run the test and find out their results" at home. The company said it was planning to sell the tests for $30 or less.
Slavitt added on Monday, "The ability to quickly test, to contact trace and quarantine, is a linchpin of our national strategy and will be a vital part of containing the virus and stopping community spread."