Thermo Fisher Scientific to Expand Pipette Tip Manufacturing Under $192.5 Million Government Contract

The US government has granted Thermo Fisher Scientific a $192.5 million contract that the company will use to expand domestic manufacturing for pipette tips.

Thermo Fisher Scientific announced on Sept. 2, 2021 that it was awarded a $192.5 million contract by the US Department of Defense to expand domestic manufacturing of pipette tips to ensure reliable supply. There have been reports of global pipette tip shortage hindering bio/pharmaceutical activities. The award was issued on behalf of and in coordination with the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Under the contract, Thermo Fisher will co-invest with the US government to build a new energy-efficient manufacturing facility for pipette tips used in disease research and in diagnostic tests, including COVID-19. The new center will be housed in North Carolina and will be designed in line with Thermo Fisher's carbon-neutral goals. Construction is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2024, but pipette tip manufacturing is expected to start as early as the third quarter of 2023.

The company had also announced its own investments in mid-2020 to increase pipette tip production capacity. That expansion was to support COVID-19 testing. Since the start of the pandemic, Thermo Fisher has invested more than $180 million in expanding its laboratory plastics consumables production as well as another $600 million to increase global bioprocessing capacity. The company has also opened new sites dedicated to manufacturing viral transport media used in COVID-19 sample collection and current good manufacturing practice plasmid DNA used in messenger RNA-based vaccines.

"This award and the resulting capacity ensure that future demand surges in the [United States], from the current COVID-19 pandemic to the next crisis, will be met with greater supply assurance," said Mark Stevenson, executive vice-president and chief operating officer of Thermo Fisher, in a company press release. "Supply chain agility is critical to our customers, our government, and to the health and safety of our citizens, and we're excited to bring this state-of-the-art capacity online, especially since its efficient design will also showcase our commitment to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050."

Source: Thermo Fisher Scientific