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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

 

KCDC.  

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