South Korea’s leading molecular diagnostics (MDx) developer Seegene Inc., is addressing the needs of small, mid-sized, and large hospitals and COVID-19 laboratories with its fully automated STARlet-AIOS: All-in-One System (AIOS). First unveiled at the 2021 AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo in Atlanta, the modular system supports a “hands-free” PCR workflow, automating everything from nucleic acid extraction to the interpretation of results. This can help sites boost their testing capacity while lessening the burden on laboratory and hospital staff.
“Seegene has played a critical role in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in large part because of our forward-looking strategy. We moved fast from day one, rapidly developing a reliable assay for the novel coronavirus and then pivoting to multiplexed tests that can detect emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants,” said Dr. Jong-Yoon Chun, Seegene Founder and CEO. “As we look ahead, the most pressing diagnostic need will be for cost-effective and high throughput automated systems that can remove any remaining testing bottlenecks. Our all-in-one system specifically addresses that need for hospitals and laboratories of all sizes.”
More than 3.75 billion people worldwide have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. As daily case counts and fatalities decline, many countries are easing their restrictions and preparing to live with the virus. Doing so safely will require ongoing surveillance, with accurate PCR testing and rapid turnaround times.
The modular design of STARlet-AIOS: All-in-One System unites two standalone instruments–the STARlet IVD and the CFX96™ Dx real-time PCR System––with a custom-built robotic arm. This unique engineering allows customers to either purchase the full AIOS system or integrate existing Seegene instruments already in use. With its compact and intuitive design, the AIOS is accessible to small-to-medium sized hospitals and clinics, along with larger organizations.
Seegene’s current portfolio with an extensive test menu including GI, HPV, STI, respiratory assays as well as a suite of SARS-CoV-2 assays detecting a wide range of variants (namely, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, kappa, Lambda, Mu, etc.) can all be processed using the AIOS. The system will also be compatible with newly developed assays and Seegene’s MOBILE STATION, an innovative laboratory-on-wheels initiative that delivers mass testing capacity to communities that would otherwise lack the necessary infrastructure.
Meanwhile, the company plans to introduce Allplex™ Respiratory Virus Master Assay, in late 2021, a single tube syndromic assay that can differentiate between COVID-19 and other major common respiratory pathogens, such as influenza, RSV, adenovirus, parainfluenza, metapneumovirus, human rhinovirus. The introduction of the new assay will help doctors treat cases more effectively, by differentiating causative pathogens of COVID-19 and respiratory viruses for common flu, which may surge in winter season.
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