Press release

DSM to help accelerate Dutch Covid-19 testing by making 2.8 million nose swabs

Heerlen, NL, 07 May 2020 07:15 CEST

Royal DSM, a global science-based company in Nutrition, Health and Sustainable Living, has started manufacturing nose swabs for the first time to help overcome a shortage of Covid-19 test kits in the Netherlands, following a request from the Dutch government. DSM will produce sufficient swabs to meet the entire country’s testing needs for the next three months. DSM is donating the 11 tons of material required to make the swabs as well as its local processing expertise to help in the fight against Covid-19.

The Dutch government recently indicated an urgent need for swabs in order to perform more Covid-19 tests. The swabs normally used in the Netherlands are produced in Italy and China but because of a global shortage, and to be less dependent on international supply chains, the Dutch Health Ministry asked if DSM could manufacture this vital equipment.

Thanks to swift collaboration with the Dutch Ministry of Health, the Landelijk Consortium Hulpmiddelen (LCH), and other local companies and healthcare experts, DSM has established a swab production chain on Dutch soil in two weeks – a process that normally would take months or years.

During this time DSM applied its scientific and manufacturing expertise, and tapped into its global network to create a scalable, cost effective swab. The design was developed with DSM’s 3D-printing expertise and scaled-up by injection molding to produce millions of swabs for test kits in the Netherlands.

The swabs are certified by the RIVM and full-scale production has started. DSM works with Dutch partners Molded, ECM Europe and Steris to produce, package and sterilize the packaged swabs for the LCH to distribute among test locations across the country.

Dimitri de Vreeze, co-CEO of Royal DSM, said: “These swabs are urgently needed across the country so it’s great to see how close teamwork between old and new partners has led to the creation of a new Dutch production capability in record time. From an idea to realization in just two weeks, this is truly bright science, innovation and Doing Something Meaningful unleashed. It makes me proud to see how the people at DSM, together, are fighting the coronavirus pandemic and helping where they can.”

Test kit swabs are one of many medical and personal protection equipment items currently in short supply globally. A brief overview of some of DSM’s Covid-19 related initiatives in the Netherlands can be found here (in Dutch).

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