Merck’s life science business has been awarded a three-year, $136.7 million contract to stand up a factory for a critical material needed to manufacture rapid COVID-19 point-of-care tests.

MilliporeSigma said Thursday it will use the funds to establish a lateral flow membrane production facility in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, to support domestic production and supply efforts for the government’s pandemic preparedness initiative.

DOD coordinated with the Department of Health and Human Services in the contracting process and said that establishment of the facility will support more than 83.3 million coronavirus tests monthly.

The business supplies its Hi-Flow Plus nitrocellulose membrane to manufacturers of medical test kits intended to diagnose infectious diseases such as COVID-19, malaria and HIV.

Read the full press release here