COLOMBIA – South Korea’s molecular diagnostics firm Seegene Inc. is expanding operations in the Brazilian market after Anvisa, the country's health care surveillance agency, cleared its multi-assay product through a COVID-19 emergency pathway. Seegene manufactures Allplex, a SARS-CoV-2/FluA/FluB/RSV test able to screen and differentiate eight targets.
As COVID-19 variants have emerged, so have questions about the effectiveness of tests for infection. While the risk of mutations significantly limiting their ability to detect the novel coronavirus is thought to be relatively low, companies that make COVID-19 tests are moving quickly to enhance and revalidate their products.
By mid-January 2021, the U.K., South Africa and Brazil had confirmed that “variants of concern” were driving massive surges in COVID-19 cases in their countries. Once alerted, other nations found these troubling strains rapidly multiplying within their populations as well. At the time, the world had reported 90 million cases, creating abundant opportunities for the coronavirus to mutate. Of those cases, the virus in just 360,000 had been sequenced – and nearly all of them from just a handful of countries.
HONG KONG – Seegene Inc. has developed a COVID-19 test kit that is able to both detect and identify multiple mutant variations of the virus. “Getting test results from the Allplex SARS-CoV-2 Variants Ⅰ Assay takes two hours, which is normally how long getting results from a PCR test takes,” a Seegene spokesperson told BioWorld.
HONG KONG – South Korea’s Osang Healthcare Co. Ltd. became the first Korean company to receive the U.S. FDA’s emergency use authorization (EUA) for its COVID-19 test kit. In a letter dated April 18, 2020, the FDA informed Osang of its authorization for the company’s Genefinder COVID-19 Plus Realamp Kit.
HONG KONG – As the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases and deaths continue to rise globally, South Korea’s focus on testing has attracted international attention. Two diagnostic kits made by domestic companies Seegene Inc.and Kogene Biotech Co. Ltd. are currently preparing to apply for U.S FDA approval.
HONG KONG – South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) recently granted the first urgent-use licenses to four COVID-19 novel coronavirus diagnostic kits to battle the pandemic in the country, which is home to one of the largest outbreaks in the world outside of China.
The U.S. effort to deploy diagnostics for the novel coronavirus has been plagued by missteps by the CDC and the FDA from the outset, leading to delays and missed opportunities. The Trump administration declared a national emergency March 13, but concerns remain about how quickly the array of available tests can be conducted and whether there are enough testing supplies to handle the anticipated demand.