Tech giant Apple has reportedly awarded nasal swab manufacturer COPAN Diagnostics with $10 million to help boost the company’s output of Chinese virus test kit components. COPAN hopes to be pumping out a million test kits a week by July with Apple’s help.
Reuters reports that Apple announced on Thursday that it would be awarding $10 million to a medical manufacturer that makes nasal swabs and other materials used to collect samples for Wuhan coronavirus tests in an attempt to boos the company’s output to 1 million collection kits per week by early July.
The two companies stated that the award would help Murrieta, California-based COPAN Diagnostics expand into a larger production facility and create 50 new jobs in Southern California. Apple also plans to help COPAN Diagnostics design and source new equipment from York, Pennsylvania-based K2 Kinetics and Waukesha, Wisconsin-based MWES, both are manufacturers of industrial robotic systems.
COPAN Group, the corporate parent of COPAN Diagnostics, is based in the Lombardy region of Italy, an area that was hit extremely hard during the pandemic and stepped up production as demands surged.
COPAN Diagnostics in California develops specialized nasal swabs to collect samples for Chinese virus tests along with vials and sterile media users to transport swabs and testing samples. COPAN has stated that due to Apple’s help, the firm could expand the production of sample kits for U.S. hospitals from several thousand per week to more than one million kits per week by July.
Norman Sharples, chief executive of COPAN Diagnostics, said Apple’s “teams are already making a huge difference with our efforts to scale up the production of our sample collection and transport kits.”
Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, said in a statement: “We feel a deep sense of responsibility to do everything we can to help medical workers, patients, and communities support the global response to COVID-19.”
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