Spurred by strong sales, a manufacturer of medical diagnostic and collection devices said it will expand its South Bethlehem manufacturing operations and open a new warehouse in the city.
Douglas Michels, president and CEO of OraSure Technologies, said this morning it is still undefined exactly how much the company will expand its manufacturing facility or where in Bethlehem it would locate its warehouse.
“We are developing those plans right now,” Michels said. “Right now it’s not definitive, but we are expanding.”
As part of the plans, OraSure expects to open a warehouse in Bethlehem and said it has space at its facility to build an expansion and a warehouse.
“I would expect all of these expansion efforts will be largely completed in 2018,” Michels said.
The number of jobs it will add has not been determined.
“We are currently formulating those plans,” he said. “We are certainly going to be adding a significant amount of full and part-time workers.”
In Bethlehem, OraSure has about 220 employees, Michels said.
The expansion plans are largely driven by the strong financial results the company reported for its second quarter.
“We are seeing good growth across our infectious diseases business,” Michels said. “It’s all about managing long- and short-term growth.”
The company plans to add automated production equipment for its infectious diseases products.
As an example, on the operations end, the company reported its second automated OraQuick production line has received necessary regulatory approvals and is being used to make products on one shift, with a second shift to be added later this year. The line is expected to increase capacity of up to 10.4 million devices per year.
The company is planning a third automated OraQuick line to be delivered in mid-2018 that will also add capacity for up to an additional 10.4 million devices per year.
As reported in its earnings, the company saw consolidated net revenues grow 28 percent compared to the period last year and topped $40 million in revenue for the first time.
Second quarter consolidated net revenues were $40.2 million, compared to $31.4 million reported in the second quarter of 2016.
Meanwhile, product revenue growth rose 42 percent to $39.1 million, compared to the prior-year period. Also, its infectious disease business showed 29 percent revenue growth from the year-ago period.
“What’s the most important barometer of the health of our business is to track product growth and product revenues, which have been very robust,” Michels said.
International product sales and domestic sales of the company’s OraQuick HCV test continue to be primary growth drivers for the company in the infectious disease area.
The company also recently saw successful developments in its HIV self-testing business with the announcement of a new four-year charitable support agreement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to subsidize the price of OraSure’s HIV self-test in 50 developing countries.
OraSure also reported the receipt of prequalification, essentially a seal of approval, from the World Health Organization for the company’s HIV self-test.