NMS Pharmaceuticals has begun selling a medical kit that it claims can identify allergies without the use of painful scratch tests and which it hopes will return the company to profitability for the first time in four years.
The chemical process that NMS officials believe can detect allergies ranging from dust to animal hair is currently restricted to use by medical researchers. But NMS hopes to begin selling it to hospitals and clinics by June 1.
The Newport Beach-based company, which recently began marketing a pregnancy-detection kit, expects U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval within 30 to 60 days for the allergy diagnostic kit that is designed to measure histamines in patient blood samples. Histamines are usually generated by allergic reactions.
For more than 50 years, allergists have sought ways to improve upon costly skin tests that can require years to detect specific allergies. Whatever company develops the best solution has a ready-made market of an estimated 60 million Americans who suffer some form of allergies. Although a number of blood tests have been marketed over the years, none has proven completely effective.