(Bloomberg) -- The federal government is spending nearly $1.2 billion to purchase 187 million rapid Covid-19 tests from Abbott Laboratories and Celltrion Inc., according to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services official.
The deals, which include options to buy more, are part of an investment of about $2 billion announced by the Biden administration earlier this month to make the rapid tests more widely available. The government is also using the Defense Production Act to build out manufacturing capacity.
The products, known as antigen tests, return results in about 15 minutes on-site, without needing to be sent out to a laboratory. Demand for virus tests, including the rapid products, has surged amid the latest wave of Covid-19 in the U.S.
Under the new agreements, Abbott will provide 168 million of its BinaxNOW product for $554.4 million, and Celltrion will supply at least 19 million of its DiaTrust tests, for as much as $626.4 million. The tests in question are known as point-of-care tests, and can only be used in certain settings, including medical facilities.
The U.S. also late last week struck deals worth $647 million with Abbott and other companies for 60 million rapid, over-the-counter tests, which are available to test-takers without a prescription.
Read more: Biden Buys $647 Million in Over-the-Counter Rapid Covid Tests
Those kits will start getting delivered next month, with the government able to place more orders through next fall, according to the Defense Department announcement late last week.
Abbott and Celltrion didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
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