The developer of the iPMx molecular rapid COVID-19 test system has received the first overseas order for the new product, from Japan, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.
Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI, 工業技術研究院), which says that its iPMx system can accurately and efficiently detect SARS-CoV-2, has received an order for 100 test kits and 10,000 reagents from Japan Biotechno Pharma Co, the ministry said, adding that the order came as Japanese authorities, effective immediately, approved the product.
The authorities approved its use at small and medium-sized hospitals and clinics, as well as operating and emergency rooms at major hospitals, Department of Industrial Technology Director-General Chiou Chyou-huey (邱求慧) told a news conference in Taipei.
Technology developed for the test kit would be produced by BizLink Holding Inc (貿聯控股) in California as part of ITRI’s efforts to expand cooperation with foreign partners, Chiou said.
The iPMx system’s compact canister is 57 times lighter than traditional testing devices, weighing only 600g, ITRI said.
The system produces results within an hour, one-quarter of the time a polymerase chain reaction test takes, and is 95.8 percent accurate, it said.
Chiou said the system is like a “mobile laboratory” and is highly sought after in the Japanese testing market.
ITRI’s next step would be entering the markets in Southeast Asia, Europe and the US, he said, adding that the institute is in talks in such countries.
ITRI is developing a second-generation iPMx system, which would also be able to detect flu, Chiou said.
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