Ontario Increases Production of COVID-19 Testing Supplies
Province Partnering with Mississauga-Based Microbix Biosystems to Strengthen Domestic Capacity
October 13, 2020
MISSISSAUGA - The Ontario government is investing over $1.4 million in Mississauga-based Microbix Biosystems to expand production of COVID-19 testing supplies and further support the province in the ongoing fight against COVID-19.
The announcement was made today by Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.
"Ontario's world-class entrepreneurs and innovators have stepped up to mobilize our manufacturing and innovation might to produce critical medical supplies throughout the fight against COVID-19," said Minister Fedeli. "By supporting companies like Microbix, we are supporting made-in-Ontario solutions and reducing our dependence on foreign supply chains, strengthening our domestic capacity and ensuring we are better prepared for the future."
With Ontario's support, Microbix will make viral transport media, which is the solution used to preserve and transport a patient's test specimen. This viral transport media will be used in COVID-19 patient sampling kits to support the province's urgent need for testing supplies and reduce the pressure on labs to assess variable international sources while also processing thousands of tests daily.
The company's expertise in manufacturing viral and bacterial antigens and reagents for the global diagnostics industry will continue to position Ontario as a world leader in the quality control and accuracy of COVID-19 tests. Ontario's support will help Microbix implement automated high-volume manufacturing for two important product categories, (i) viral transport media at up to 60,000 units per day, and (ii) quality assessment products (QAPs™) at up to 10,000 units per day. QAPs emulate real patient samples, while being consistent, non-infectious, and stable. They are used to conduct lab proficiency and accreditation programs, qualify new tests and instruments for use, help train lab technicians, and to support the accuracy of test workflows at labs.
Over 120 international companies rely on Microbix for reagents that are at the core of testing infectious diseases. As part of this initiative, the company will create multiple new jobs.
"Local businesses contribute to Ontario's economy by accelerating growth, providing employment opportunities and spearheading innovation. Microbix Biosystems is a perfect example of the hard work and manufacturing strength of businesses in Ontario both before and during the pandemic," said Deepak Anand, MPP for Mississauga-Malton. "The government's investment through the Ontario Together Fund will support this path-breaking pioneering company to ensure the accuracy of infectious disease diagnostic testing and support our province to successfully respond to public health challenges."
Through the Ontario Together Fund, the government is delivering targeted investments that will increase the province's stockpile of Ontario-made products and PPE. This new manufacturing capacity will help the province combat the current COVID-19 outbreak and prepare for potential challenges in the future, while supporting local businesses during the safe and gradual reopening of the province.