MicroGEM Acquires Jump Start, Expands Manufacturing To Accelerate Production Of Portable COVID-19 Saliva Test
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Jan. 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — MicroGEM, a Virginia-based molecular diagnostics company, today announced its acquisition of Jump Start Manufacturing LLC (Jump Start), a New Hampshire-based engineering company with proven success in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry. The acquisition allows MicroGEM to rapidly scale production of its innovative Spitfire6830 SARS-CoV-2 testing system, a high-performance, PCR-based point-of-need saliva test.
In addition to its pilot-scale manufacturing facility in Charlottesville, MicroGEM announced it has established new large-scale production facilities in Ogden, Utah, and Hudson, New Hampshire, expanding its manufacturing in the U.S. with plans to create more than 500 jobs between both locations. The facilities, with more than 120,000 square feet combined, give MicroGEM the capability of producing 160,000 tests per day.
“We are proud to join forces with the talented Jump Start team to accelerate the production and deployment of our innovative Spitfire6830 SARS-CoV-2 testing system,” said MicroGEM CEO Jeff Chapman. “Bringing Jump Start’s leading manufacturing capabilities and expertise under the MicroGEM umbrella and dramatically expanding our production capabilities will ensure that more Americans have greater access to high-quality COVID-19 tests – bringing key tools to help end this devastating pandemic.”
MicroGEM’s Spitfire6830 system is designed to detect SARS-CoV-2 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. The system is in final stages of development with preparations underway for submission to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Emergency Use Authorization.
“The unique capability of the Spitfire6830 to quickly provide highly sensitive and specific identification of SARS-CoV-2 from saliva samples puts MicroGEM at the cutting edge of point-of-need diagnostics,” said Jump Start founder, Thomas Moran, who joins MicroGEM as Chief Operations Officer overseeing all manufacturing activities. “Jump Start is thrilled to join the MicroGEM team, enabling us to help bring this low-cost, high-quality test to market while ensuring our Jump Start customers continue to receive the high-touch service they expect and deserve.”
MicroGEM’s Spitfire project has been funded in part by the NIH Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx ) initiative with federal funds from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. 75N92020C00015.
About Jump Start
Based in Nashua, New Hampshire, Jump Start is an engineering company established in 2006 with a successful record managing product launches for a variety of biotech and pharmaceutical companies, with expertise in medical devices. Jump Start offers a full range of engineering solutions, including machine design, manufacturing engineering, and a mechanical engineering laboratory, quickly implementing manufacturing solutions and process improvements with ‘concierge-style’ service. Jump Start’s manufacturing expertise includes complex projects such as self-heating products, high precision medical infusion systems, and drug delivery systems. Under the MicroGEM umbrella, Jump Start will continue to provide all existing services to its customers with no interruption while increasing its capacity to offer a wider breath of capabilities to its clients.
MicroGEM is democratizing molecular diagnostics by moving molecular techniques out of conventional, highly skilled laboratories to non-laboratory settings. The company’s innovative enzymatic approach to nucleic acid extraction provides the foundation for rapid sample preparation suitable for PCR analysis. Coupled with MicroGEM’s expertise in microfluidics and synthetic biology, the company is creating the next generation of rapid, point-of-need diagnostic solutions for the management of infectious diseases and other personalized medicine applications.
To learn more about job openings at MicroGEM, visit https://microgembio.com/jobs/.
Contact: Liz Halloran