After Corona, monkey pox… Will the ‘diagnostic company’ continue to grow?


A new virus… Concerns about ‘twindemic’ still exist

Prevention is more important than treatment Expected to expand use of diseases

ⓒ Seegene

As the COVID-19 epidemic is fading, the number of confirmed cases of monkey pox abroad continues to increase. The mid- to long-term growth of diagnostic companies that were feared to lose their growth engine after the transition to an endemic is expected, as the warnings from experts who foreshadowed the continued appearance of viruses in the future will be strengthened.

According to the Central Countermeasures Headquarters on the 27th, due to the increase in the number of cases of monkeypox infection overseas, the Korean government also decided to expand the testing system to cities and provinces nationwide in preparation for the introduction of the virus into Korea.

The quarantine authorities explained that they are reviewing the expansion and installation of inspection institutions by region in preparation for the possibility of community transmission along with the introduction of the vaccine.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) has completed the development of ‘monkey pox diagnostic test methods and reagents’ in 2016 with Myco Biomed through a rare infectious disease diagnosis service task to establish a diagnostic system for future infectious diseases.

At that time, MycoBioMed, together with the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, completed the development of a diagnostic device that can detect 15 types of pathogens, including monkey pox, and applied for a patent jointly with the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The monkey smallpox testing device developed by Mycobiomed is a PCR test well-known for COVID-19 testing.

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An official from MycoBioMed said, “We have not yet received a call from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding the monkey pox diagnostic device, but we are ready to supply it when a product request comes. I haven’t decided on the quantity yet,” he explained.

Seegene, one of Korea’s leading diagnostic companies, is also reviewing the development of a monkey pox test reagent. Although there have been no cases of inflow in Korea yet, the company explained that it is closely monitoring the situation as the number of confirmed cases abroad is increasing.

The industry is saying that the situation is different from the Corona virus in that it has a low infectivity and is an already endemic disease.

As a result, it is evaluated that concerns about loss of growth engine due to a sharp drop in demand after the transition to an endemic are partially offset. Above all, it is also analyzed that the experience of using a diagnostic device, experienced firsthand, will serve as a stepping stone for the mid- to long-term growth of diagnostic companies in the future.

An official from the diagnostic industry said, “We are expected to increase the use rate for more diseases in the future by gaining experience with a diagnostic device that can accurately diagnose a disease in a short time while suffering from this corona. Therefore, the diagnostic device will be useful for the purpose of quickly and easily diagnosing and preventing various diseases.”

Concerns about a ‘twindemic’ in which respiratory diseases such as the flu and Corona 19 are prevalent at the same time due to social distancing and easing of mask restrictions still remain. Since influenza and COVID-19 have similar symptoms when infected, demand for syndromic test kits that test for multiple diseases at the same time can also be expected.

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In fact, according to a clinical trial conducted by Seegene on 1928 people in Europe, 318 people (17%) were infected with respiratory viruses other than Corona 19, and 22 people (7% of infected people) were infected with two or more viruses. appeared in the state

An aging population and an increase in the prevalence of chronic diseases are also considered favorable factors for the expansion of the diagnostic market. The industry explains that the market has great potential to expand in the future in that it can diagnose various chronic diseases with a diagnostic device.

Major domestic diagnostic companies have been preparing for post-coronavirus strategies by strengthening R&D with large-scale funds secured by COVID-19.

Seegene possesses competitive multi-diagnosis technology and has already developed reagents that can diagnose more than 100 types of diseases, and SD Biosensor is promoting M&A and rapid molecular diagnosis platform M10 as a post-corona strategy.

In addition, Genomic Tree and EDGC are evaluated to have liquid biopsy cancer diagnosis technology, and Macrogen is expected to have high growth potential as the number one genomic analysis company in Korea.

An official from the diagnostic industry said, “As evidenced by this monkey pox, the risk of new infectious diseases continues to grow, so the marketability of the diagnostic industry appears to be sufficient.” It is very meaningful in that sense,” he said.

Han Song-hyeop, a researcher at Daishin Securities, explained, “One of the reasons for the growth of the diagnostic industry is that there are still areas of high unmet demand, and new methods are being developed to solve them with the development of technology.”

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“The next-generation diagnostic technology will significantly improve accuracy and precision by fusion of biotechnology-related technologies (DNA sequencing, CRISPR gene scissors, artificial intelligence) with existing diagnostic methods, and will enable customized treatment and precision medicine based on patient personal information. will,” he assessed.

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