On Tuesday morning, Microbix Biosystems received a licence from Health Canada to start selling its medical devices, which ensure the accuracy of COVID-19 tests. The Mississauga, Ont. firm had already received a comparable licence from the United States, but since getting Canadian approval wasn’t a sure thing, it enlisted the aid of a lobbying firm. As CEO Cameron Groome told The Logic prior to Health Canada’s approval, he wanted to help his country before selling his product internationally.
“I’m enough of a patriot and a member of the community that I’m going to make damn sure that the governments here are aware of what we can offer before we start selling all our product abroad,” Groome said. Now that Microbix has Health Canada approval, it’s trying to secure contracts with both the federal and Ontario governments. It currently has the capacity to verify the accuracy of 1.5 million tests per week, and can ship nationwide as early as April 30.
Microbix is one of the early winners in the flurry of lobbying activity that’s occurring due to COVID-19. Nationwide, there are 657 organizations that have registered to lobby on some aspect of the pandemic in recent weeks. An analysis by The Logic of lobbyist registrations at the provincial, federal and municipal levels nationwide shows medical technology companies have been among the most prominent, with several dozen lobbying governments for contracts.