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Aug 27 (Reuters) - Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc won a $192.5 million award from the U.S. Department of Defense to expand production of a device used in diagnostic tests including those for COVID-19, the biggest U.S. maker of scientific instruments said.
The United States is facing a shortage of COVID-19 tests as schools and employers revive surveillance programs following a resurgence in cases due to the highly contagious Delta variant.
The company said on Thursday it will use the award to build a new manufacturing facility in North Carolina to expand production of pipette tips, used to transfer liquids in diagnostic labs. It expects manufacturing to begin at the facility as early as the third quarter of 2023.
"This award and the resulting capacity ensure that future demand surges in the U.S., from the current COVID-19 pandemic to the next crisis, will be met with greater supply assurance," Chief Operating Officer Mark Stevenson said in a statement. (Reporting by Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)