DGIST, Develops and Supplies Special COVID-19 Diagnostic Reagent with Reduced Diagnosing Time
작성자. Public Relations Team
｜ DGIST Core Protein Resources Center, Signs Production and Supply Contract for Highly Efficient and Fast Diagnostic Reagent ｜ Expected to Contribute to Fast Action in Preventing Spread of COVID-19
Jang Ik-soo, Head of DGIST Core Protein Resources Center (Left), Choi Seong-gyun, Senior Researcher (Right) ⓒDGIST
The Core Protein Resource Center of DGIST decided to supply the special COVID-19 diagnostic reagent to M Monitor Co., Ltd. (CEO Jeon Hyo-seong), a COVID-19 diagnostic kit manufacturer, to cope with COVID-19 crisis. The consigned production contract was signed on April 3, and production has begun.
The existing COVID-19 detection method takes 4-6 hours, including the time for the virus amplification process, which repeats heating up the equipment to 90℃ and cooling it down to 60℃ up tp 40 times, and for the pre-treatment process. Also, it requires expensive RT-PCR equipment for the production of the diagnostic reagent, which costs 50 million won(KRW) each.
The diagnostic kit that M Monitor developed has the same effect as the existing product in amplifying the genes while maintaining the temperature at 60℃, and it completes the diagnosis in 20-30 minutes on the spot. With the diagnostic kit made with a reagent produced by the DGIST Core Protein Resource Center, the user only needs to maintain the equipment temperature at 60℃. Since it does not require an expensive temperature controlling device, it is now possible to cut down the cost of the new equipment drastically to under a million won(KRW).
The DGIST Core Protein Resource Center signed an MOU with M Monitor in 2018. And since then, they have maintained their cooperative relationship for the development of diagnostic devices, diagnostic kits, and enzyme resources, and have also continued with R&D. With this consigned production contract, the center will be working with experts in the area of high-level purification of protein and using core technologies to mass-produce zymoprotein for COVID-19 diagnostic kits and supply it to M Monitor for three months.
The DGIST Core Protein Resource Center has developed leading technologies and infrastructures over the past four years and secured unique technologies such as sophisticated analysis and production, verification of usefulness and functions, and design of core proteins using a super computer. The center developed core protein resources for medical use centering on core immunity substance(cytokine)-type proteins and applied them to national projects while fully supporting protein-related bio companies.
“The DGIST Core Protein Resource Center possesses the technology for producing purified protein of the highest purity and the knowhow for super-computing protein design,” said Jang Ik-soo, Head of the DGIST Core Protein Resource Center. He added, “We will fulfill our duties for the production and application of medical core proteins that need to be managed on the national level such as cytokine protein in addition to the production of COVID-19 diagnostic reagent” Dr. Choi Seong-gyun, who heads the research and production of the diagnostic reagent, said, “I hope the research capability of DGIST will become the basis for overcoming COVID-19.”
Jeon Hyo-seong, CEO of M Monitor, said, “M Monitor was established to develop molecular diagnosis technologies that can be used by anyone easily. We are able to release current COVID-19 diagnosis products based on the technological strength we have accumulated and now wish to develop into a world-renowned on-site molecular diagnosis company through cooperation with DGIST.”
M Monitor (CEO Jeon Hyo-seong) is a company based in Daegu and possesses distinct technology in the nucleic acid (DNA/RNA) amplification stage. M Monitor’s core competences are the advantage of immunodiagnosis - and advantage in the simplicity and molecular diagnosis - and accuracy based on ‘isothermal amplification technology’, which is unlike existing PCR technologies and the pre-treatment technology that reduces the procedure significantly. In particular, M Monitor developed a rapid COVID-19 diagnostic kit and is exporting it worldwide.