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Company working on new COVID-19 test to bring hundreds of jobs to Ogden

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FILE – In this Sept. 19, 2020 file photo, a doctor takes a nasal swab sample to test for COVID-19 at the Cocodrilos Sports Park in Caracas, Venezuela. PAHO, the regional office for the World Health Organization in the Americas, said the week of Jan. 22 2021 that only 3,000, or about 1%, of the 340,000 COVID antigen testing kits sent to the country have been used. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix, File)

OGDEN, Utah (ABC) – Hundreds of jobs are coming to Ogden, according to a manufacturer that produces COVID-19 tests.

MicroGEM, a leader in molecular extractions and diagnostics, says it is bringing the new manufacturing jobs to a 69,000 square foot facility in Ogden as part of an expansion of its manufacturing capabilities.

This comes as the company announces the acquisition of a Nashua, New Hampshire-based engineering firm that will help MicroGEM produce 160,000 COVID-19 a day.

A release says the expansion will create a total of 500 jobs, bringing hundreds of new manufacturing positions to Utah.

MicroGEM says they hope to produce 4 million tests a month by April 2021.

According to a release, MicroGEM has been focusing its efforts on producing a portable COVID-19 test, called the Spitfire 6830. The detection system can identify asymptomatic and symptomatic individuals with a point-of-need saliva test, MicroGEM says.

That system is now in the final stages of development with preparations underway for submission to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Emergency Use Authorization.

“We are proud to join forces with the talented Jump Start team to accelerate the production and deployment of our innovative Spitfire 6830 COVID-19 testing system,” says MicroGEM CEO Jeff Chapman.

“I am thrilled to welcome MircoGEM to Ogden as the First District becomes part of their critical work to provide rapid COVID-19 tests to thousands of Americans each day,” says U.S. Rep. Blake Morre, (UT-01). “MicroGEM will bring hundreds of jobs to the Ogden area, allowing northern Utah to keep answering the call to the pressing challenges presented by the pandemic.”

According to a release, the Spitfire project has been funded in part by the NIH Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics initiative with federal funds from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services.

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