Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced that Ellume, an Australia-based digital diagnostics company, will establish its first U.S. manufacturing operation in Frederick County and create more than 1,500 new jobs by the end of 2022. Ellume, based in East Brisbane in Queensland, will lease about 200,000 square feet in two new buildings to accommodate demand for its diagnostic products targeting infectious diseases. The company signed a $231.8 million agreement in February 2021 with the U.S. Department of Defense, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to accelerate domestic production of its COVID-19 home tests and support ongoing U.S. pandemic preparation and response.
The project is a result of strengthening ties between Australia and Maryland, which were reinforced by Governor Hogan’s infrastructure and trade mission to Australia in September 2019. While there, he toured Sydney, Adelaide, and Melbourne, visited various infrastructure projects, and met with Australian officials and businesses.
"We look forward to building the foundation for Ellume’s long-term vision in the U.S. and recruiting the highly skilled talent in Maryland’s Biotech Corridor needed to fuel our flagship U.S. facility,” said Jeff Boyle, PhD, Ellume U.S. president. “Frederick is the ideal location for Ellume as we continue to work closely with the U.S. government in delivering COVID-19 tests to communities across the country. The facility will serve as a foundation for Ellume to support the domestic response to the COVID-19 pandemic and better prepare the U.S. for future public health crises.”
“It is outstanding news that Ellume has chosen Maryland for this significant expansion and will create more than 1,500 new life sciences jobs in our state at a time when they are needed the most,” said Governor Hogan. “We had a highly successful mission to Australia, and I am pleased that the partnerships and connections we created during that mission have resulted in bringing this world-class company to Maryland.”
Ellume’s focus is on the detection of common infectious diseases which affect the global population across all diagnostic settings: at home, point-of-care, and in-laboratory. Ellume has a global consumer health partnership with GlaxoSmithKline; a global COVID-19 and latent tuberculosis partnership with QIAGEN; and a range of professional products under its ellume·lab brand.
The Ellume COVID-19 Home Test was the first rapid self-test for COVID-19 detection authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for asymptomatic and symptomatic use without a prescription. With the Centers for Disease Control reporting that at least 50% of COVID-19 cases are transmitted asymptomatically, Ellume’s test will play a crucial role as one of the only diagnostic tools authorized for non-prescription use as a screening tool in the United States. Further information can be found at ellumehealth.com.
“This is great news for Frederick County. Ellume is on the cutting edge, making products that will help the world to overcome this health pandemic,” said Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner. “We are excited to welcome Ellume to our thriving life science and biopharma family. Frederick County has delivered on our fast-track permitting process to accelerate this project so production can begin in the second half of 2021. Frederick County is a great place to do business.”
“We are thrilled to have attracted a global leader like Ellume, which is at the forefront of diagnostic testing for a host of infectious diseases, including coronavirus,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. “Being in Maryland will not only bring the company closer to their existing key federal partners, but will also provide access to our highly-educated workforce, research labs, and critical mass of resources that make our state an ideal place for a life sciences company to succeed.”
To assist with costs related to the development project, the Maryland Department of Commerce is working with the company on a conditional loan through Advantage Maryland, formerly the Maryland Economic Development Assistance Authority and Fund (MEDAAF), contingent on job creation and capital investment. Frederick County approved the project for Turbo Fast Track Permitting to meet the company’s timeline and the project is eligible for county tax credits over the next six years. The company is also eligible for local workforce services.