Avantor will buy Masterflex from privately held Antylia Scientific in a $2.9 billion all-cash deal to beef up the U.S. lab products provider’s Covid-19 therapy and vaccine manufacturing operations.

U.S. companies are scrambling to boost production of coronavirus tests increasingly in short supply as Covid-19 cases soar and schools and employers revive surveillance programs that will require tens of millions of tests, according to industry executives and state health officials.

California on Aug. 11 became the first U.S. state to require that its teachers and other school staff be vaccinated or regularly tested for Covid-19, a move Governor Gavin Newsom called “a responsible step” to ensure the safety of children.

As part of a nationwide response to the threat posed by the more contagious Delta coronavirus variant, New York City will require Covid-19 vaccinations or weekly tests for workers at city-run hospitals and clinics.

Australian scientists say they have developed the “holy grail” of blood sugar testing for diabetics, a non-invasive strip that checks glucose levels via saliva.

British life sciences company NetScientific Plc said on June 7 that one of the company’s subsidiaries entered an exclusive licensing agreement with AstraZeneca Plc to globally sell a Covid-19 test.

Roche’s cobas SARS-CoV-2 Test received U.S. authorization for testing individuals without symptoms or reasons to suspect a Covid-19 infection, the Swiss drugmaker said on May 18.

The help wanted signs are up across the biopharma industry. According to BioSpace, companies are opening and expanding facilities, which is good news for job seekers.

New mutations, or variants, of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19 are continuing to be discovered. Health officials in Florida cited a new mutation of the Brazilian strain (P.1) that they are calling P2 or P.1.1.

Swiss drugmaker Roche predicted on April 21 that demand for the company’s drugs would accelerate for the remainder of 2021, after first-quarter sales of Covid-19 tests offset a pandemic-influenced slump in its main pharmaceuticals business.