Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE:TMO) today announced it is investing more than $140 million to further expand its laboratory plastics disposables production to meet global demand for COVID-19 testing, as well as for development and manufacturing of therapies and vaccines.
“Early in the pandemic, we quickly joined forces with governments, public health agencies and industry to increase capacity across our laboratory plastics production facilities and address the growing COVID-19 threat,” said Fred Lowery, SVP and president of Life Sciences Solutions and Laboratory Products at Thermo Fisher, in a news release. “However, demand quickly exceeded those early expansion projects, so we began a series of additional expansions to meet the growing needs of our customers. These investments, along with many others across the company, will ensure that our customers have the supplies they need to continue meeting the unprecedented demands of the COVID-19 response.”
The rapid increase in production related to COVID-19 testing, and development and manufacturing of therapies and vaccines, has created historic demand for laboratory plastics, including pipette and automation tips, storage tubes and plates, transfer pipettes, and packaging vials and bottles. To support these needs, Thermo Fisher is creating more than 1,000 jobs across manufacturing sites globally, increasing automation capabilities and optimizing warehouse and sterilization capacity to improve supply chain agility.
Among the Thermo Fisher sites currently being expanded are Rochester, N.Y.; Petaluma, Calif.; Monterrey and Tijuana, Mexico; and Joensuu, Finland.
In August, the company announced that it had opened its $40 million manufacturing facility in Lenexa, Kan., dedicated to viral transport media (VTM) and other eventual products for COVID-19.