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Kim Forest eyes approval for non-invasive virus test

Source: Taipei Times by Kao Shih-ching

Kim Forest Enterprise Co (金萬林), which focuses on molecular testing, yesterday said it has applied to receive marketing approval for its non-invasive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test products, hoping to meet rising demand for COVID-19 test kits as cases in Taiwan rise.

The company’s reagents that obtained regulatory approval in June 2020 test material from a person’s nasal cavity and pharynx, while its latest reagents test saliva, allowing pain-free sample collection, Kim Forest Enterprise said in a statement.

“We hope that this new product, if approved, can ease the pain and the pressure on paramedics, and also help speed up examinations,” the company said.

Kim Forest Enterprise said that it is confident its products can detect the latest virus variants, as its products are examined regularly by the US Food and Drug Administration after it became the first Taiwanese company to obtain emergency use authorization in the US for its COVID-19 test kits, reagents and machines.

Revenue for last month increased 54 percent annually to NT$39 million (US$1.31 million), the New Taipei City-based firm said, adding that cumulative revenue in the first four months of this year expanded 46.8 percent to NT$161 million as demand for its testing machines and services increased significantly amid a surge in local COVID-19 cases.

Established to assist hospitals in Taipei with COVID-19 testing, its laboratory last month partnered with more clinics and hospitals to total 30 as of the end of last month, Kim Forest Enterprise said, adding that it expects to collaborate with more after the Central Epidemic Command Center added 190 clinics to those approved to offer PCR testing.

Overall, it has an upbeat outlook for its business in the second quarter, Kim Forest Enterprise added.

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