Seegene to supply COVID-19 diagnostic kits to Kuwait

AdobeStock 361462484.jpg vaccineSeegene, South Korea’s largest molecular diagnostics firm, will be supplying COVID-19 diagnostic kits worth more than US$4.8mn to the Kuwaiti government

The company’s local subsidiary ‘Seegene MIDDLE EAST’, said it has signed the exclusive supply agreement with the Ministry of Health of Kuwait. The supply agreement is the largest volume procured by the Kuwaiti government since Seegene started supplying diagnostic tests to the country last year.

The agreement implies that the South Korean biotechnology firm, Seegene, has the upper hand over global competitors, given that the Kuwaiti government had been supplied with diagnostic tests from one of the global molecular diagnostics companies until last year.

Under the agreement, Seegene MIDDLE EAST will be supplying the AllplexTM SARS-CoV-2 Assay, to five laboratories under the MOH for five months starting May. The US$4.8mn deal is worth six to seven times larger than that of the company’s previous exports to Kuwait in the last two quarters. Although the number of COVID-19 cases in the country showed a downtrend at the beginning of the year thanks to the state-run mass vaccination programme that started last December, infections have been resurgent due to the emergence of COVID-19 variants.

According to ‘Worldometer’, on May 17, Kuwait reported 828 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total infections in the country to 291,629.

Seegene’s AllplexTM SARS-CoV-2 Assay is a multiplex real-time PCR assay capable of detecting five targets including four coronavirus genes (E, RdRP, N and S gene) and an exogenous control in a single reaction, allowing highly accurate results and maximise throughput for high volume testing. Also, the AllplexTM SARS-CoV-2 Assay can identify more targets than major competitors' products so that it can detect new COVID-19 variants. As the product can be processed without the need for extraction, it is expected to improve overall process efficiency allowing more COVID-19 tests, especially in the time where there is a shortage of extraction equipment.

Ho Yi, chief sales and marketing officer of Seegene, said, “The company recently had procured public procurements for COVID-19 diagnostic tests in European countries including Germany, Scotland, and Italy. As the tender agreement with the Kuwaiti government is the exclusive deal, it shows the company’s competitiveness in the global diagnostic tests market and hopes the agreement lay a foundation for the company expanding its market to more regions in the Middle East.”

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