Springboro firm to manufacture coronavirus diagnostic kits

A Springboro company is planning to locally manufacture COVID-19 testing equipment.

Hardy Diagnostics is to manufacture Viral Transport Medium used to collect and transport specimens at facilities in Springboro and California.

“We actually discontinued the product. Now everything has changed,” Founder Jay Hardy said.

Hardy said he contacted Congressman Steve Chabot, (R-1), Wednesday for assistance in raising as much as $250,000 needed to purchase additional machines and gear up for production.

“That’s the problem,” Hardy said in Springboro Wednesday. “That would complete the project.”

Hardy has resumed production of the product due to a 3 million unit backlog of Universal Transport Media on order from COPAN, an Italian company, Hardy said.

“They’re swamped with orders,” Hardy said. “They are going to favor their people.”

Hardy said the company needs to buy several more of the custom machines used to produce the transport medium. One is currently located at the company facilities in California and Springboro.

In the meantime, Hardy will staff multiple shifts and pay overtime to meet demand until the new machines are delivered in three to four months.

“We’re getting a lot of orders. One of those orders came from the White House,” he said.

Hardy said the company was contacted on Saturday by Joseph Russo and Paige Waterman, aides to President Trump, and had to explain they were not initially in a position to meet the anticipated demand.

RELATED: California biomedical firm spending $7M, doubling staff in Springboro

On Monday, Hardy produced 11,000 units, now undergoing quality control testing at the California plant.

The media is used to collect specimens from patients’ noses and throats and transported for testing. The kits preserve the specimens for three days.

The identification is made by identifying ribonucleic acid (RNA) from the virus. RNA carries genetic instructions for controlling the synthesis of proteins.

Hardy also anticipates heightened demand for other products used to detect bacteria like those that can eventually kill those with COVID-19 who wind up with bacterial infections through ventilator use.

“We foresee an increase in demand in all of our culture media products,” he said.

In 2019, California-based Hardy completed a $7 million expansion in Springboro.

The expansion, to about 100,000 square feet, nearly doubles the size of the building at the south end corner of Pioneer Boulevard.

Hardy sells medical devices and “culture media” used to diagnose infections in clean-room facilities designed to prevent contamination.

Distribution is carried out from seven locations across the country in addition to Springboro and Santa Maria, where the company located after being formed in Santa Barbara in 1980.

Ohio operations moved to Springboro from Lima in 2011.

Hardy employs 400, 93 in Springboro “and growing,” the founder said Wednesday.

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