A Guelph company that has received federal approval for distributing their rapid COVID-19 tests, says the decision has been long overdue.
On Monday, Precision Biomonitoring received an email that Health Canada approved them to administer SARS-CoV2-TRIPLELOCK Test Strips across the country, making it the first domestic company on the list of suppliers.
Before, all rapid tests acquired by Canada came from other countries, like the United States and South Korea.
Mario Thomas, CEO of Precision Biomonitoring, said they have been waiting quite a long time for this moment, and knew the approval was imminent.
“We have been working very hard for the last six months to make this happen,” said Thomas. “So people’s reactions (to the news) were like, ‘Finally!’”
Nevertheless, he adds they are honoured to have been chosen, as Precision Biomonitoring pivoted nine months ago from developing tests for environmental monitoring and food safety, to making tests for human regulation.
“Everyone in the company was committed to making this happen, we wanted to make this happen, and here we are,” Thomas said, “It makes us very proud Canadians.”
These strips can test multiple samples and deliver the results in a day versus a week, making it a highly desirable tool for government and industry use.
“In an hour or two, you can screen nine people at the same time and then they can go on and work,” he said.
Being able to achieve almost instant results means these tests can deploy to workplaces, schools, and in remote or rural areas. Thomas mentions they could be especially beneficial for Indigenous communities and mining companies.
With this approval and a $5 million dollar grant from the federal government to develop a manufacturing facility, Thomas said they will be able to distribute a million tests per week once up and running.
“We need to finalize some final details, but in a couple of weeks we can be shipping products.” said Thomas.