S. Korean startup in spotlight with test kit to identify illness in animals

2017.06.07 13:45:09 | 2017.06.07 16:44:14

Oh Taek-gyu, president of Zet Biotech, introduces the company’s veterinary diagnostic kit and reader. [Photo by Lee Young-wook]이미지 확대

Oh Taek-gyu, president of Zet Biotech, introduces the company’s veterinary diagnostic kit and reader. [Photo by Lee Young-wook]

A South Korean provider of in vitro diagnostics (IVD) solutions is under spotlight for its innovative quick and easy kit to learn whether livestock or companion animals are ill or not.

“This veterinary test kit is designed for easy and simple detection of animal disease. Pet owners do not need any training to use it,” said Oh Taek-gyu, president of Zet Biotech Inc.

The startup headquartered at Chungbuk National University was founded in 2014 and is staffed by a group of IVD researchers and marketing experts.

To use AnyLab, simply put a sample onto the test kit and wait for a result 10 minutes later. Eye booger, feces or blood of a dog or a cat can be used as a test sample.

“It is as easy to use as a pregnancy test kit. Two visible lines indicate a positive result. Vets as well as animal owners can use it,” said Oh.

The kit development was inspired by his discovery that the point-of-care test market for animals was 10 years behind that for humans.

His confidence in technology innovations for veterinary diagnostics led to the founding of the company.

Korea’s animal diagnostics far lags in global market. Nasdaq-listed IDEXX Laboratories is already worth over $10 billion with its sales veterinary, poultry, and livestock diagnostics services and products gaining 11 percent on year to $1.78 billion last year. A Korean leader in the field reported sales of 20 billion won last year.

Zet Biotech is betting its technology to carve out a niche in the market. To ensure speed and accuracy, Zet Biotech employs an advanced new material in its kit, replacing existing detection materials.

“We can make a more affordable kit with comparable test performance by using this highly sensitive material,” Oh added.

By Lee Young-wook

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