|Researchers at EDGC in Songdo Island, Incheon, prepare samples for liquid biopsy using plasma separation. Courtesy of EDGC|
By Ko Dong-hwan
Genetic sequencing firm Eone Diagnomics Genome Center (EDGC) has renewed its deal with the American state of Colorado to provide more universal transport medium (UTM) kits for COVID-19, the company told The Korea Times on Oct. 21.
The new contract binds the Songdo Island-based global firm in Incheon to send 1.4 million UTM kits for Colorado residents.
A UTM kit comprises nasopharyngeal swab, oropharyngeal swab and viral transport medium (VTM).
According to EDGC, VTM, with a red indicator, makes visible any outside-bound contamination. Antibiotics preventing bacterial contamination and stabilizer preventing disintegration of virus nucleic acids ― critical component of diagnosing COVID-19 ― also allow VTM to perform "ultra-precision" diagnosis on the coronavirus.
The United States Food and Drug Administration approved the kit's use.
The contract follows the previous bilateral deal worth $13 million in last April, with which the firm agreed to provide DiaPlexQ ― polymer chain reaction (PCR) diagnostic kits for COVID-19 ― to Colorado for a long term. Since the signing, EDGC has sent DiaPlexQ kits good for 700,000 tests as well as UTM kits for 1.3 million tests.
EDGC has been exporting DiaPlexQ ― approved by the Korea Food and Drug Administration, American FDA and Europe's CE-IVD ― to the United States, the Middle East and the Europe.
Since September, when EDGC acquired EDGC Healthcare, the company established a unified, stronger pipeline to produce South Korea's globally acknowledged "K-epidemic prevention" products ranging from DiaPlexQ to rapid disease test kits and masks.