South Korea’s leading molecular diagnostics (MDx) company Seegene Inc. has developed a PCR test to detect positive cases of monkeypox virus within 90 minutes
The monkeypox PCR test, called the Novaplex™ MPXV Assay, can identify positive cases of the virus and deliver results within 90 minutes.
The PCR test has been swiftly developed using the company’s AI-based automated test development system, known as SGDDS (Seegene Digitalized Development System) and technologies that have been refined over 20 years of MDx expertise.
Dr. Jong-Yoon Chun, CEO of Seegene, commented: “The monkeypox virus outbreak shows that endemic viruses can rapidly spread to the rest of the world and it’s a warning that new pandemics can emerge and threaten our lives at any time.
“We will continue our efforts to develop products that can accurately diagnose any virus to help prevent new infectious diseases from taking hold and becoming a pandemic.”
The company added: “Seegene will strive to make accurate tests for emerging viruses to help prevent future pandemics.”
A timely arrival for the monkeypox PCR test
The World Health Organization has described the monkeypox virus as an “evolving health threat that requires collective attention and coordinated action.” The WHO has urged members states to step up surveillance, contact tracing and testing and so the Seegene monkeypox PCR test has arrived in a timely fashion.
The virus is normally only found in Africa but has been sweeping through the US and Europe at an alarming rate. Monkeypox has now been detected in over 50 nations with South Korea confirming its first case last week.
The fatality rate of the strain circulating in the Northern Hemisphere has an estimated fatality rate of between 3-6% and is considered to be particularly dangerous for children and those with weak immune systems.
So far in the US, there have been 306 cases, and no deaths. There are 1,076 confirmed cases in the UK and no deaths.
Accurate diagnosis is crucial as treatments are more effective in the early stages of infection.