Korea's Seegene develops fast-result diagnostic reagent for monkeypox virus

Chung Seul-gi and Susan Lee 입력 2022. 6. 28. 14:30 수정 2022. 6. 28. 14:54
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South Korean multiplex molecular diagnostics company Seegene Inc. is rolling out fast-result diagnostic test kits tailored to identify the infection of monkeypox that has caused latest virus scare around the world.

Seegene announced on Tuesday that it developed a diagnostic assay dubbed “NovaplexTM MPXV Assay” using its AI-based fully automated system. The new assay can deliver diagnostic test results for monkeypox in one hour and 30 minutes.

“We developed this test quickly in order to help curb the spread of the virus,” said Seegene. The diagnostic test will be supplied to areas such as Europe where monkeypox is spreading rapidly, the company added.

Monkeypox, a disease that is endemic in West Africa, was first discovered in the U.K. last month and has since spread across the world. Korea also recently had its first confirmed case of monkeypox involving a citizen that arrived back in the country from Germany.

[Source: Yonhap]
The disease is caused by the monkeypox virus, a member of the same family of virus as the smallpox, that exhibits milder symptoms with a fatality rate of around 3 to 6 percent. People at high risk for severe disease from monkeypox include young children and immunocompromised individuals. The incubation period, or the interval from infection to the onset of symptoms, is roughly up to 21 days.

While no treatment has been specifically approved for monkeypox, antivirals that are typically used to treat smallpox can be used to treat patients. This makes timely and accurate diagnosis crucial, the company said.

“Monkeypox shows how a disease that is endemic can spread globally and how another pandemic that can endanger global health can happen,” said Chun Jong-yoo, the CEO of Seegene. “We will continue to make efforts to develop accurate diagnostics that can help contain the spread of new viruses to prevent them from evolving into a pandemic.”

Shares of Seegene traded up 3.36 percent at 38,500 won ($29.95) on Tuesday afternoon.

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