Funded by Apple, Nasal Swab Company COPAN Diagnostics Ships 15 Million COVID Sample Collection Kits

Doctor's hands in protection gloves holds Testing Kit for the coronavirus test.
filadendron / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Apple said today that the nasal swab company it invested in last year has shipped more than 15 million COVID collection kits across the country and increased its test-kit production by almost 4000% since April.

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Last May, Apple’s Advanced Manufacturing Fund awarded $10 million to COPAN Diagnostics to accelerate its supply of sample kits for hospitals across the U.S., expand production and help the expansion to a new, larger facility in Southern California, with advanced equipment that Apple is helping design, Apple said in a statement at the time.

COPAN has since accelerated its production and shipping timeline and built an entire team to ramp this project, hiring nearly 250 new employees who worked alongside Apple engineers, product designers, operations professionals and others, Apple said today.

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“We are proud our Advanced Manufacturing Fund is supporting companies like COPAN who are playing a critical role in the fight against COVID-19 and assisting healthcare professionals and communities across the country,” Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, said in the statement today. “This collaboration helped produce, ship, and deliver millions of sample collection kits to hospitals from coast to coast — and we believe it is this unique combination of American manufacturing and innovation that will help us emerge from this crisis and build a safer world for us all.”

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Norman Sharples, CEO of COPAN Diagnostics, said in the May 2020 statement that the relationship with Apple made a “huge difference” with the scaling up of the production. “Collection and transport kits are a critical component in the fight against COVID-19…Apple’s operational expertise will help us increase delivery of important pre-analytical tools for medical professionals across the country at this critical time,” he said.

Apple’s Advanced Manufacturing Fund intends to support the innovative production and high-skill jobs “that will help fuel a new era of technology-driven manufacturing in the U.S.,” according to the company. To date, Apple has invested more than $1.3 billion from the fund to support American manufacturing and innovation.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a former full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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