KYOTO -- Takara Bio is preparing to produce 50 times more of a coronavirus testing reagent at its plant in Dalian in response to an urgent request from the Chinese city, where the Japanese drugmaker's main factory is located.
Takara Bio aims to churn out 250,000 units of the reagent per week and will supply it to 30 test kit manufacturers in 10 Chinese cities, including Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.
Dalian authority informally requested Takara Bio's subsidiary to provide a "stable supply" of the reagent in late January. It made the request formally on Tuesday. Under special permission, Takara's main factory in Dalian continued operating through the Luner New Year holidays, with its workforce increased to 100 employees working overtime to achieve the ramped-up times more production.
With the spread of the new coronavirus, supplies of test reagents have been running short.