Porex, a provider of custom-engineered porous polymer solutions, received a $16.2 million award from the Departments of Defense (DoD) and Health and Human Services (HHS) to increase production capacity of aerosol-barrier filters used in filtered pipettes for COVID-19 and other infectious disease testing. Porex is a subsidiary of Filtration Group.
Across much of 2020, the diagnostic industry suffered critical shortages in clinical lab consumables necessary to both test and diagnose the virus. Because COVID-19 is readily diagnosed via polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, filtered pipette tips are necessary to prevent cross-contamination of infectious aerosols into samples and test equipment used by diagnostics, research and blood transfusion laboratories. While Porex and its customers collaborated across 2020 to significantly increase filter production capacity, future demands necessitate additional investment.
Selected from a competitive acquisition pool of 91 U.S. companies, this supply chain investment will allow Porex to increase its domestic filter production by over 50% per month at its Fairburn, Ga., facility which is expected to be complete by October 2022. This contract will enable Porex to expand existing infrastructure and add new production equipment to supply pipette tip filters critical to molecular test accuracy. Nearly 60% of the award is being placed with U.S. small businesses, and the investment will enable Porex to add dozens of new U.S. manufacturing jobs in South Fulton County.
“Now more than ever, it’s critical that industry capacity expand to ensure ample supply of components that will enable efficient, accurate test results without delay,” said Rob Carpio, president of Porex. “We are proud to be collaborating with the DoD and HHS to improve molecular diagnostic readiness and reliability for whatever testing demands we encounter in the future.”
Porex was selected in part because of its innovative Certified Pure Porex laboratory media and filters which prevent material additives, contaminates and heavy metals from interfering with clinical, analytical and blood transfusion testing accuracy. The pipette tip filters manufactured through this investment will include Edison-Award-winning FORTRESS filters, which provide sample protection from aerosols and aspirated liquids, as well as pipette tip filters designed specifically for high-speed, automated assembly systems.