COVID-19 Update: Ann Arbor’s NeuMoDx to Triple COVID-19 Test Production, FDA Approves Use of Convalescent Plasma for Virus Treatment, and More

Here is a roundup of the latest news concerning the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to announcements from local, state, and federal governments, as well as international channels. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
map of Michigan coronavirus cases
Courtesy of Bridge, as of Aug. 23

Here is a roundup of the latest news concerning the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to announcements from local, state, and federal governments, as well as international channels. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

Ann Arbor’s NeuMoDx to Triple COVID-19 Test Production
Ann Arbor-based NeuMoDx Molecular Inc. is doubling its footprint to nearly 75,000 square feet at Eisenhower Commerce Center and tripling its production of COVID-19 tests.

NeuMoDx, which supplies molecular diagnostic testing for hospitals and clinical laboratories,  settings, already has shipped more than 1 million COVID-19 tests to the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America.

“With this huge increase in square footage, NeuMoDx will have the capacity to increase our production of much-needed testing supplies to hospitals and labs around the world,” says Daniel Harma, chief commercial officer at NeuMoDx.

Since the start of the pandemic, NeuMoDx has shifted its efforts to meet the changing demands of the molecular in vitro diagnostics industry. Historically, the company has focused on instruments and tests to deliver results in testing for blood-borne viruses such as HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C, as well as other infections including group B strep, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.

Eisenhower Commerce Center is run by Oxford Cos.

For more information, visit here.

FDA Approves Use of Convalescent Plasma for COVID-19 Treatment
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Aug. 23 issued an emergency use authorization for investigational convalescent plasma for the treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to fight COVID-19.

Based on scientific evidence available, the FDA concluded this product may be effective in treating COVID-19 and that the known and potential benefits of the product outweigh the known and potential risks of the product.

The action follows the FDA’s review of the science and data generated over the past several months stemming from efforts to facilitate emergency access to convalescent plasma for patients as clinical trials to definitively demonstrate safety and efficacy remain ongoing.

The EUA authorizes the distribution of COVID-19 convalescent plasma in the U.S. and its administration by health care providers, as appropriate, to treat suspected or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in hospitalized patients with COVID-19.

“Months ago, the FDA, BARDA, and private partners began work on making this product available across the country while continuing to evaluate data through clinical trials,” says Alex Azar, secretary of Health and Human Services. “Our work on convalescent plasma has delivered broader access to the product than is available in any other country and reached more than 70,000 American patients so far. We are deeply grateful to Americans who have already donated and encourage individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 to consider donating convalescent plasma.”

The EUA is not intended to replace randomized clinical trials and facilitating the enrollment of patients into any of the ongoing randomized clinical trials is critically important for the definitive demonstration of safety and efficacy of COVID-19 convalescent plasma. The FDA continues to recommend that the designs of ongoing randomized clinical trials of COVID-19 convalescent plasma and other therapeutic agents remain unaltered, as COVID-19 convalescent plasma does not yet represent a new standard of care based on the current available evidence.

Adient Closes Transactions Restructuring Joint Ventures with Yanfeng
Adient, an automotive seating supplier based in the city of Plymouth, has closed the transactions with Chinese joint venture partner Yanfeng Automotive Trim Systems Co. Ltd. to make changes to their existing joint venture relationships.

At closing, Adient received cash proceeds of $309 million related to the sale of Adient’s 30 percent ownership stake in Yanfeng Global Automotive Interior Systems Co. Ltd. to Yanfeng and approximately $20 million related to the sale of certain mechanisms, business patents, and other intellectual property to Adient Yanfeng Seating Mechanisms Co., Ltd.

In addition to the $309 million paid at the closing for its 30 percent ownership stake in YFAI, Adient is entitled to receive an additional $60 million for the sale of such stake, payable on a deferred basis.

Starting with the year ending Dec. 31, 2020, Adient will be paid an earnout in an amount equal to 30 percent of YFAI’s distributable earnings for such year until such time as the $60 million deferred purchase price is fully paid. Also, Adient and Yanfeng extended the term of Yanfeng Adient Seating Co. Ltd.’s joint venture agreement to December 2038.

Leading OEMs to Present Model Updates at Virtual Truck Product Conference
Major chassis manufacturers will share the latest commercial vehicle updates at the 2020 Truck Product Conference, which this year will be virtual Sept. 22-24.

The event is staged by the Farmington Hills-based NTEA, the association for the work truck Industry representing more than 2,200 companies that manufacture, distribute, install, sell, and repair commercial trucks, truck bodies, truck equipment, trailers, and accessories.

According to NTEA, attendees have an opportunity to gain insights on upcoming changes to new model work trucks and upfitter integration implications from chassis OEMs. Presenters are expected to share product upgrades and launches, positions on technical issues, and key body builder information.

“Since the late 1960s, stakeholders in the work truck industry have attended Truck Product Conference to learn about upcoming commercial vehicles and engage OEM representatives on upfitting-related issues,” says Steve Carey, president and CEO of the NTEA. “They’ve come to rely on this annual event to hear directly from chassis manufacturers and identify potential challenges and solutions to vehicle updates and modifications. In turn, OEMs view this conference as a chance to connect directly with the industry to gain insight into how their vehicles are being upfit and modified. We knew it was important to move forward with hosting the event for the industry this year, even if the format had to transition.”

This year’s event features a three-day program with a series of OEM presentations followed by live questions and answers. Registrants have the ability to build their schedule and access dedicated exhibitor and sponsor pages containing videos, links to key resources and body builder details, as well as contact information for company representatives.

To register, visit here.

Dossin Great Lakes Museum to Unveil Outdoor Enhancements Aug. 29
The Detroit Historical Society’s Dossin Great Lakes Museum at 100 Strand Dr. on Belle Isle is making improvements to its riverfront outdoor facilities available for public view at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29.

The site has been transformed to include new gardens featuring native, noninvasive species and a new cove to stabilize the shoreline and provide a launch point for water sports enthusiasts, according to museum officials. Upgrades also include improved and redisplayed outdoor artifacts, including the bow anchor from the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald showcased in a new Lost Mariners Memorial.

New visitor amenities such as bike racks, an observation telescope, a cycle service station, a canine station, and patio and lawn space for private events also are part of the first phase of work at the museum.

Admission to the Dossin Great Lakes Museum is free with a $5 suggested donation. Permanent exhibits include Built by the River in the John A. and Marlene L. Boll Foundation Gallery, the Miss Pepsi vintage 1950s championship hydroplane, the Gothic Room from the City of Detroit III in the Polk Family Hall, the pilothouse from the Great Lakes freighter S.S. William Clay Ford in the Wayne, and Joan Webber Foundation Gallery and one of the largest known collections of scale model ships in the world. For more information, visit here.

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