SEOUL, July 6 (Korea Bizwire) – A government-backed South Korean research institute that owns a high-speed norovirus diagnosis solution has landed a deal with American medical firm GermainLab that will see the copyright for the technology exchanged between the two parties in return for royalties.
The norovirus diagnosis technology was developed by a research team dedicated to biological disasters at the Korea Basic Science Institute (KBSI), after the researchers developed a method that makes use of protein extracted from Korean soybeans to quickly identity whether food is infected by norovirus or not.
The impressive technology, which brought the research institute an initial 300 million won and more to come depending on sales at GermainLab, slashed the diagnosis process from four hours to only 15 minutes.
The swiftness of the procedure is expected to have a positive impact on the medical industry as well as society in general, since the technology can diagnose patients with food poisoning in a fraction of the time required by previous diagnosis methods, contributing to both the treatment and prevention of norovirus infections.
While the ownership of the technology in Asia apart from Japan lies in the hands of South Korean firm Solgent, and is in the final stages of commercialization, GermainLab’s takeover of the norovirus diagnosis technology will give the American company the right to market its offerings in the United States, Japan, Europe and South America.
According to a report released last year from a research team at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine called ‘Global Economic Burden of Norovirus Gastroenteritis, PLOS ONE’, economic damage and medical expenses resulting from norovirus infection are estimated to be around 75 trillion won every year.
In 2013, a norovirus outbreak in South Korea caused the seafood industry economic losses worth 80 billion won.
“In the wake of the transfer of technology, we are conducting a clinical demonstration at Texas A&M University and plan to go forward with the FDA approval process. The reception issues discovered in previous norovirus diagnostic test kits were solved thanks to our technology,” researcher Joseph Kwon at the KBSI said.