Seegene Inc., South Korea’s largest point-of-care diagnostic kit maker, will mark another significant milestone in the popularization of molecular diagnostic technology with an advanced real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine to detect various viruses including Covid variants at neighborhood clinics, helping authorities to respond faster to virus spread.
The new assay called AIOS will be premiered at the opening of American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) to be held in Atlanta on Sept. 26-30, according to sources familiar to the company on Thursday.
AACC is home to the latest technology and information on various diagnostic equipment, reagents, and test methods. Seegene whose annual sales hit $1 billion last year is one of the most notable companies among this year’s AACC presenters.
According to the sources, AIOS can carry out the entire molecular diagnosis process, such as nucleic acid extraction, PCR testing, and result reading, with a single system after sample collection.
Depending on the type of reagents, AIOS can detect up to 10 types of viruses including Covid-19 variants at the same time, or up to 15 types of respiratory viruses except for Covid viruses. It weighs about a third less than the bulky all-in-one PCR equipment that weighs 1 to 1.5 tons. The new equipment comes in an assembly that is separated into two compact devices to enable transport and installation at small clinics.
Sales are expected to begin around the world on the turn of the new year. Seegene will mark its 20th anniversary with the AIOS launch that will make advanced molecular diagnosis available in most small and medium-sized hospitals and neighborhood clinics that account for 39 percent of patient beds versus 9 percent of large hospitals in Korea, according to the sources.
By Kim Si-gyun and Minu Kim
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