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Korean-American biotech firm releasing FDA-approved COVID-19 test kits originally made for staff Updated: 2020-04-17 05:49:14 KST

Let's take an in-depth look into an issue making headlines.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage across the world, test kits for the virus are in high demand, especially in countries like the United States, where millions of people have yet to be tested.
South Korea's test kits have been in high global demand due to their high accuracy and speed.
This week, local firms shipped some 600-thousand test kits to the U.S., having gained preliminary approval from the Food and Drug Administration, a rare exception made at this unprecedented time.
Today, we speak with a representative of Avellino Labs, a Korean-American firm based in Silicon Valley, which gained FDA approval and is ready for distribution.
Welcome, Mr. Eric Bernabei.

1. How were you able to respond so quickly and put a test kit on the market when you are actually a company that develops precision medicine for eyecare?

2. How were you able to overcome issues that conventional COVID-19 tests are facing, including the difficulty of identifying patients where only a few antibodies are present?

3. There have been a shortage of coronavirus test kits, as well as some concern over their accuracy in the U.S. In that regard, South Korean test kits have received a lot of attention. Your company actually has South Korean roots, and your global operations are based here as well. Has this worked to your advantage?

4. It's difficult for South Korean companies to acquire U.S. FDA approval, right? Why is this the case?

5. Why is it hard to get as many test kits as we need out on the market? It seems more difficult in some regions than others.

6. What kind of support do scientists and developers need from the government in order to optimize test kits and also ramp up the number of those being manufactured?

7. Avellino has operations all over the world, and it really highlights the spirit of global cooperation that we need to overcome this pandemic. How are your different units collaborating, and are there any fun stories that you can share with us?

8. What's next for Avellino amid the COVID-19 pandemic?

That's all we have time for today. But it's encouraging to see this sense of unity even within your company in tackling this worldwide pandemic.
Thank you for joining us Eric Barnabei, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of Avellino Labs in California.
Reporter : osy@arirang.com
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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