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Subject Researchers at Korea University Guro Hospital Developed New Technology Detecting “SARS-COV-2 in 1 Hour”
Selection News Date 2020-03-16 Read 54

Researchers at Korea University Guro


Hospital Developed New Technology


Detecting “SARS-COV-2 in 1 Hour”





Use rapid multiplex molecular diagnostic technology that


doesn’t require expensive equipment



A Korean research team developed a technology that can shorten the


detection time of SARS-Cov-2 to an hour.


BioZentech, a subsidiary of Korea University Guro Hospital (CEO Lim


Chae-seung, Professor of Department of Laboratory Medicine of Korea


University Guro Hospital), successfully developed a new, fast, and cheap


SARS-CoV-2 rapid multiplex molecular diagnostic technology capable


of rapid diagnosis and virus detection of various infectious disease.



SARS-CoV-2 can be confirmed in 1 hour



BioZentech’s research team and Korea University Guro Hospital’s


research team led by Prof. Lim Chae-seung and Prof. Jang Woong-shik


developed isothermal amplification that simultaneously detects RdRp


gene and E gene of SARS-CoV-2 using Multiplex LAMP. The team


verified the presence of the virus in 10 minutes by comparing the


specimen of COVID-19 confirmed patient with the specimen that does


not contain the virus using isothermal nucleic acid


amplification. Nucleic acid extraction time has also been reduced to less


than 30 minutes, and if the technology is applied, it takes only 1 hour


from collecting a specimen to confirming the case.



Currently, real-time polymerase chain reaction (real-time PCR) is


commonly used to detect SARS-CoV-2, which takes several hours and


requires expensive equipment worth about 40 million won. Diagnosis,


therefore, could be confirmed only in a central laboratory of a large


hospital in which risk and additional time were required for transporting


specimens. This test method is also not suitable for underdeveloped


countries where the virus runs rampant, because only skilled


professionals can use it.



No expensive equipment or skilled professionals required


Patent pending and clinical trial scheduled



The new technology developed by the research team has numerous


advantages for testing for acute infectious diseases such as COVID-19. It


can detect the virus almost instantly because individual testing for each


sample is possible, thus eliminating the need to wait and get a batch of


samples and run the machine. It is faster than real-time PCR and delivers


accurate results. The method requires only an isothermal device that can


maintain 62°C without the need to have expensive equipment and it is


simple enough to be used by a user; he or she doesn’t have to be an


expert. It is expected to be highly useful in the future as it has several


advantages in terms of economics and convenience.



“To date, few reagents have been developed to detect SARS-COV-2 with


multiplex Lamp in the world,” Prof. Lim Chae-seung stated. “This can


be extremely useful in developing countries, where resources are


scarce,” explaining the significance of the study. The high-speed


diagnostic reagent is pending for a patent and the team plans to conduct


clinical trials for the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety’s approval after


consultation with related hospitals.



BioZentech has confirmed that is it possible to detect pathogens related


to various infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and influenza as well


as COVID-19 using this high-speed molecular diagnostic technology.


“The rapid and accurate detection of parasites, bacteria, and viruses


related to infectious diseases such as malaria, MERS, Ebola, and Zika


prevents the spread of infection and enables treatment without delay


thereby decreasing mortality. So, I believe that this technology will be


useful,” Prof. Lim Chae-seung explained.



Korea University Guro Hospital is designated as a “research-driven


hospital” by the Ministry of Health and Welfare since 2013 and has


seven subsidiaries - the largest number in hospitals in Korea. It is driving


the growth of the domestic medical device industry through the


operation of Korea University Guro Hospital IVD Support Center and


leading the commercialization of medical technology as the only “open-


lab research institute” in Seoul.



The development of the technology was a part of the “Government-Wide


R&D Fund for Infectious Disease Research” which is supported by



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