Rapid COVID testing kits on way to US

Published 4:53pm 20 January 2021

Rapid COVID testing kits on way to US
Words by Nick Crockford

The first shipment of rapid COVID-19 home testing kits, which began as an idea at Caboolture Hospital 10 years ago, have been sent to the US.

By the end of this financial year, Brisbane company Ellume aims to have provided more than 20 million test for the US, which has the highest daily case rates in the world.

The kits were developed by Ellume CEO and founder Dr Sean Parsons who worked in the Caboolture Hospital emergency department during the 2009 Swine Flu pandemic.

Rapid tests

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Steven Miles says the Queensland Government is providing funding from the Essential Goods and Supply Chain program, announced in May 2020.

Dr Parsons says the funding will allow the company to install state-of-the-art automated production lines to assemble its suite of rapid COVID-19 tests for export.

“The State Government funds will greatly assist in upscaling manufacturing to meet the growing demand for Ellume’s products, providing greater supply security," Dr Parsons says.

Rapid COVID testing kits on way to US

Leading the way

“This is world-leading and life-saving diagnostic testing technology, created and manufactured right here in Queensland.”

Deputy Premier Miles visited Ellume’s Richlands facility which aims to manufacture more than 200,000 testing kits a day, and at full capacity produce 10 million tests a month.

Mr Miles said Queensland was in an enviable position thanks to the hard work of all Queenslanders.

Rapid COVID testing kits on way to US

Target Europe

“It is a testament to our hard work and wonderful healthcare system that we can manufacture at-home COVID-19 tests right here in Queensland and export them overseas to countries who need it,” he says.

“Thanks to our world-best health response, Queensland has avoided the significant case numbers experienced overseas.”

The company has plans to expand availability of its tests into Europe later this year, subject to securing the required approvals.

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