Seegene, a molecular diagnostics (MDx) company, has developed a PCR test designed to detect the monkeypox virus.

The Novaplex MPXV Assay, which specifically targets the virus, was developed using the company’s AI-based automated test development system, known as the Seegene Digitalized Development System (SGDDS),.

The World Health Organization says the monkeypox virus is an “evolving health threat that requires collective attention and coordinated action,” calling on member states to step up surveillance, contact tracing and testing. The monkeypox virus has been detected in over 50 nations, with South Korea recently confirming its first case. The strain currently circulating in the Northern Hemisphere has an estimated fatality rate of between 3-6 % and is considered especially dangerous for children and those with weak immune systems.

As with many infectious diseases, accurate diagnosis is crucial as treatments are more effective in the early stages of infection. This makes timely PCR testing vital, especially for individuals with a suspected case, as the incubation period for the monkeypox infection ranges between five to 21 days.

The Novaplex MPXV Assay can identify positive cases of the monkeypox virus in 90 minutes. The company developed test to help curb the worldwide spread. Seegene plans to provide the assays to countries that have detected the virus.

“The monkeypox virus outbreak shows that endemic viruses can rapidly spread to the rest of the world and it’s a warning that new pandemics can emerge and threaten our lives at any time,” says Jong-Yoon Chun, PhD, CEO of Seegene. “We will continue our efforts to develop products that can accurately diagnose any virus to help prevent new infectious diseases from taking hold and becoming a pandemic.”