Seegene to secure a bridgehead for leading MDx market in Latin AmericaSEOUL, Korea, May 5, 2020 – Seegene Inc. (096530.KQ), a leading developer of multiplex PCR technologies headquartered in South Korea, announced that it will export 10 million tests of its COVID-19 testing kits to Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) / World Health Organization (WHO) through Brazilian subsidiary, Seegene do Brasil Diagnosticos Ltda.Seegene has supplied 5 million tests of Allplex™ 2019-nCOV assay to Brazil and will supply remaining tests in the following weeks. Also, Seegene will discuss a further increase of up to 100% of the testing volume. The company said, “This unprecedentedly large export volume emphasizes an explosive increase in demand for Seegene’s COVID-19 product worldwide and demonstrates that our high volume testing system is gaining world recognition.” Seegene’s AllplexTM 2019-nCOV Assay is eyeing a good response from the market as the capability of the assay that identifies 3 different target genes (E gene, RdRP gene and N gene) in a single-tube enables accurate and efficient diagnosis, and Seegene’s automated system is extremely useful during the coronavirus pandemic where large volume of tests are required. Seegene has already exported 20 million tests of the COVID-19 assays to over 60 countries and is ramping up the production rapidly to meet an increased demand across the globe. The export volume to the Brazilian market is expected to rise as Seegene is negotiating supply agreement with the state government and private laboratories in Brazil. In addition, the company is planning with PAHO for further contracts with other countries in Latin America. As Seegene’s assay is already well-recognized in major European countries such as France, Germany, Italy and Spain, the company’s solution for COVID-19 diagnosis surely secures a bridgehead for expanding the market presence to Latin America. This contract indeed marks a significant beginning for Seegene to further occupy the molecular diagnostics market in all of the countries in Latin America. About SeegeneSeegene (KQ : 096530) is a global pioneer in symptom-based in vitro molecular diagnostics focusing on advancing science to develop multiplex molecular technologies and to manufacture multiplex in vitro diagnostic devices and reagents. Seegene's core enabling power is the passion for wide spreading of multiplex molecular diagnostics to improve the quality of life and health of people. Using its innovative proprietary technologies, Seegene has been making considerable contributions to giving the most economic and clinic-friendly molecular diagnostic solutions for infectious diseases, genetics, pharmacogenetics, and oncology. For more information, please visit www.seegene.com.
May 19, 2020View Detail >
SEOUL, Korea, Apr 22, 2020 - Seegene, Inc. announced that U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for its Allplex™ 2019-nCoV Assay, a Real-time RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 disease. Seegene’s Allplex 2019-nCoV Assay, already sold over 10 million tests globally in over 60 countries and being used as a standard SARS-CoV-2 assay, has a unique feature that identifies 3 different target genes (E, RdRP and N genes) in a single reaction tube, which allows for highly accurate results and maximizes the throughput for high volume testing. Using its exclusive AI-based assay design platform, Seegene was able to rapidly develop the assay shortly after the COVID-19 outbreak started in China. Seegene’s proprietary high multiplex chemistry, technology combined with its unique automated solution, has played a pivotal role in South Korea’s rapid response to the COVID 19 outbreak. “Our automated system, with its advanced analysis software, has proven to be extremely useful due to its convenience and scalability, especially in such a pandemic situation where thousands of tests may be required to be performed in a day at every location,” said Dr. Jong-Yoon Chun, CEO of Seegene.Seegene anticipates that the FDA EUA approval will now enable laboratories in the United States to run the Seegene’s test immediately for high-volume testing. “We feel that it is our duty to help the society with our technologies in this time of need. We are incredibly proud to be providing the Seegene Assay which represents the leading edge of testing technologies. We will continue to stay prepared for any modifications required to ensure the most accurate detection of the mutative SARS-CoV-2,” said Dr. Jong-Yoon Chun, CEO of Seegene. About SeegeneSeegene (KQ : 096530) is a global pioneer in symptom-based in vitro molecular diagnostics focusing on advancing science to develop multiplex molecular technologies and to manufacture multiplex in vitro diagnostic devices and reagents. Seegene's core enabling power is the passion for wide spreading of multiplex molecular diagnostics to improve the quality of life and health of people. Using its innovative proprietary technologies, Seegene has been making considerable contributions to giving the most economic and clinic-friendly molecular diagnostic solutions for infectious diseases, genetics, pharmacogenetics, and oncology. For more information, please visit www.seegene.com.Contact Information Seegene Technologies, Inc.Helen Roberts, Ph.D., (firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel +1-925-448-8172)
Apr 22, 2020View Detail >
Seegene, Inc., the leading multiplex diagnostic assay developer, today announced that the company has exported over 10 million tests of Allplex™ 2019-nCoV Assay to over 60 countries, which accounts for a significant portion of globally performed COVID-19 test numbers.Seegene’s proactive decision to develop COVID-19 test kit with the capability of rapid assay development using its proprietary AI-based big data system allowed many countries to quickly expand the testing capacity, as the virus started swamping all across the globe.The demand for Seegene’s assay continues to rise as it gained reputation for its high quality and efficiency. The test has a unique feature that identifies 3 different target genes (E, RdRP and N genes) in a single reaction tube using its own multiplex chemistry technologies, which allows for highly accurate results and maximizes the throughput for high volume testing. Combined with its automated system and advanced software, Seegene assay is globally proven to be effective in high volume testing which is the key component in controlling outbreak situations. Seegene currently exports over 3 million tests a week. The company will reach its manufacturing capacity over 20 million tests in May, and continue to scale up its production to fulfill the unmet and increasing demand from all over the world. “We have been taking on new challenges every day to keep up with the global need, as we continue to face unexpected issues in the process of explosive increase in production and exports. I am extremely proud of what we have been able to contribute to this fight against the virus and of the fact that our cutting edge molecular diagnostic technologies have played a part in this important fight” said Dr. Jong-Yoon Chun, CEO of Seegene.Seegene also teamed up with its affiliate, Seegene Medical Foundation (SMF), one of the reference laboratories in Korea with the largest capacity for COVID-19 testing of up to 15,000 a day, to help countries in need for the virus test exponentially and in emergency. SMF is ready to report the test result within 24 hours upon the arrival of the samples from overseas. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc all around the globe, Seegene and SMF have been organized to do their part in providing the much needed tests and testing capacity. About SeegeneSeegene (KQ : 096530) is a global pioneer in symptom-based in vitro molecular diagnostics focusing on advancing science to develop multiplex molecular technologies and to manufacture multiplex in vitro diagnostic devices and reagents. Seegene's core enabling power is the passion for wide spreading of multiplex molecular diagnostics to improve the quality of life and health of people. Using its innovative proprietary technologies, Seegene has been making considerable contributions to giving the most economic and clinic-friendly molecular diagnostic solutions for infectious diseases, genetics, pharmacogenetics, and oncology. For more information, please visit www.seegene.com.
Apr 20, 2020View Detail >
SEOUL, South Korea, April 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Seegene, Inc. announced that Health Canada (HC) authorized an interim order which allows the import and sale in Canada of Seegene's Allplex™ 2019-nCoV Assay, a Real-time RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 disease.The government of Canada is reporting there are now 20,748 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 509 deaths in Canada on April 9, 2020 according to Public Health Information System. Seegene anticipates that the Health Canada approval will now enable laboratories in Canada to run Seegene's test immediately for high-volume testing.Seegene’s test is being used in over 54 countries as the global standard SARS-CoV-2 test, including in countries with the most active testing such as Italy, Spain, France, Germany and many other countries. The immediate adoption of the Seegene Assay in many countries was possible due to its extensive laboratory network around the globe and its well-established reputation of being the leading developer of syndromic disease testing with the broadest test menu.Seegene Canada, based in Toronto, provides large hospitals and private labs across Canada with lab solutions for automated molecular diagnostics. Most recently, Seegene Canada partnered with the Provincial Public Health Lab in St. John’s, NL to provide a significant increase in their SARS-CoV-2 testing capacity. Until now Seegene reagents were only available for “research use only”, but with this announcement Hospitals and licensed labs are now allowed to use the test outside of research settings.“We feel that it is our duty to help the society with our technologies in this time of need. We are incredibly proud to be providing the Seegene Assay which represents the leading edge of testing technologies. We will continue to stay prepared for any modifications required to ensure the most accurate detection of the mutative SARS-CoV-2,” said Dr. Jong-Yoon Chun, CEO of Seegene. About SeegeneSeegene(KQ : 096530) is the world's leading developer of multiplex molecular technologies and multiplex clinical molecular diagnostics (M-MoDx). Seegene's core enabling technologies - DPO™, TOCE™, and MuDT™ - are the foundation for M-MoDx tests that can simultaneously detect multiple targets with high sensitivity, specificity and reproducibility. Seegene's products detect multi-pathogens with great reliability and throughput, ultimately providing the most economical basis for saving time, labor and cost. Seegene's mission is to maintain leadership in molecular diagnostics for infectious diseases, genetics, pharmacogenetics, and oncology using innovative proprietary technologies. For more information, please visit www.seegene.com. Contact Information Seegene Canada.Inc.James Yantzi, (email@example.com, Tel +1-416-995-9849)
Apr 13, 2020View Detail >
Apr 10, 2020View Detail >
This story appears in the April 2020 issue of Forbes Asia. Subscribe to Forbes Asia Shin In-Seop/Forbes Korea On December 31, the first news reached South Korea of a cluster of coronavirus infections in Wuhan. Seegene’s chief executive Chun Jong-yoon, 63, was already anticipating the worst, as the risk of a global outbreak was high. Chun immediately ceased all other work at his Seoul-based biotech firm, Seegene, and ordered his lead researcher and staff to focus entirely on producing a diagnostic kit for the Covid-19. “Development needed to be very fast,” Chun says. “Before the situation became more serious, we had to be prepared.” In two weeks Seegene had developed its test, the Allplex 2019-nCoV Assay. On January 27, following the first confirmed case in South Korea, Chun received an urgent call from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC); the agency requested the testing kit for review and soon learned that Seegene’s development process aligned closely with the guidelines of the KCDC. On February 12, the KCDC approved Seegene’s kit for use. Such go-aheads typically take at least six months; European health authorities gave approval five days earlier. “It was an urgent matter so it was important to respond quickly,” Chun says. “The fact that the KCDC approved this in two weeks was unprecedented.” It was the availability of Seegene’s test kits, along with the government’s rapid response to do massive testing and other measures, that helped South Korea contain the spread of Covid-19. In a country of 51 million, South Korea has recorded less than 10,000 cases, below the figure for Switzerland, with a population of 8.6 million. By the time Forbes Korea interviewed Chun in mid-March, Seegene was already overwhelmed with orders. Previously producing 100,000 tests per week, the firm says its capacity has risen to 1 million tests. It has tests going to 40 countries including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and countries around Asia; it submitted the test to the U.S. and is awaiting approval from the FDA. With infections still spreading worldwide, Seegene is now preparing to ramp up production even more. “Right now we are stopping everything else and putting all our effort into producing the kits,” Chun says. “The demand from governments and medical agencies has been overwhelming. We could potentially supply as much as 3 million test kits per week. The Covid-19 test kit developed by Seegene (below), one box can be used to test 100 people. Seegene ... [+] Courtesy of Seegene But if there is still a shortage, we could provide the expertise [for others] to develop the kit for free. We have that intention,” he says. “The virus shouldn’t spread due to limitations in testing.” Publicly listed Seegene’s facilities are located in two buildings in southeastern Seoul. By nature, manufacturing the tests doesn’t require a massive space or huge machines. What’s essential is labor, so Seegene has more than doubled its staff to meet the current demand, implementing a two-shift system that it soon plans to raise to three. The company says it’s also looking to move its facilities to Seoul’s outskirts by next year, so it can expand its capacity even further. Courtesy of Seegene Chun attributes his dedication to medicine to his battle as a teenager with tuberculosis. He was diagnosed shortly after he graduated middle school, leaving him in rehabilitation for five years and unable to attend high school; he earned a general equivalency diploma. He went to Seoul’s Konkuk University, getting a degree in agriculture, and eventually obtained a Ph.D. in Life Sciences from the University of Tennessee. He then earned post-doctoral fellowships from Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley. Chun returned to South Korea in 1995, and after a stint in DNA research, became a biology professor at Seoul’s Ewha Womans University, but he had entrepreneurship on his mind. “Even while I was in school, I was already thinking of starting a business,” he said. “In life we can do more with business than with research. But to run a successful business you have to be persistent." Seegene's production facility Courtesy of Seegene Chun launched Seegene in 2000 with a 300 million Korean won investment from his uncle (about $240,000 in today’s dollars). For the first three years, Seegene had zero revenue. “Even though it was a difficult time, I was determined to do this,” says Chun. “If I produce something extraordinary, then all of the world will be watching.” Courtesy of Seegene Seegene developed kits for diagnosing respiratory, digestive, sexually transmitted diseases and cancers, but found few takers at local hospitals, Chun recalls. It was abroad where Seegene finally found its market: 82% of Seegene’s revenue now comes from exports. The U.S. and Europe are Seegene’s major markets. Chun says he has traveled all over the world to personally demonstrate Seegene’s tests, and credits that for the company’s global success. Even before the coronavirus outbreak, the company's net income last year more than doubled to $23 million on a 19% increase in sales, to $105.3 million. Seegene’s stock has more than doubled since January to a recent 88,100 Korean won, and the company sports a market cap close to $2 billion. Courtesy of Seegene Seegene’s test resides in a single test tube, where it identifies three target genes present in Covid-19. Because it streamlines the testing process, it takes a tenth the time of manual tests and reduces the risk of human error in diagnosis. While other tests look for the presence of antibodies, Seegene’s uses what’s called a polymerase chain reaction to spot the virus present in body fluids before antibodies form. Such molecular diagnostics—in contrast to older immunodiagnostics—are faster and more accurate, Chun says. It also means people infected with Covid-19 can be spotted before they show any symptoms. In addition to stemming the spread of the coronavirus, Chun sees his testing approach as a victory for molecular diagnostics. “In ten years,” he says, “I aim to make molecular diagnosis easier, affordable and widespread.” Text by Zinone Lee. This article has been adapted from Forbes Korea, a licensee edition of Forbes Media.
Apr 05, 2020View Detail >