Shown above is the super-fast “AccuFIND COVID19 Ag” detection kit. South Korea’s DNA LINK developed the kit, which can detect the novel coronavirus in people who have only just been infected as it uses antigens as a reagent instead of antibodies. Photo courtesy of DNA LINK

Diagnostic kit detects virus infection in less than 15 minutes

A South Korean biotechnology company has developed a super-fast test kit for COVID-19 and has been given the green light from the country’s government to export it.

DNA LINK announced on Oct 13 that its diagnostic kit, named “AccuFIND COVID19 Ag,” can detect the novel coronavirus in patients even if they have just become infected.

This is possible because the diagnostic reagent is an antigen. By comparison, DNA LINK’s previous kit used antibodies to detect COVID-19 about seven days following infection.

The company said the test time would be between 10-15 minutes – conventional tests through the RT-PCR method take hours.

An independent study of “AccuFIND COVID19 Ag” showed a 97.5 percent sensitivity and 100 percent specificity, according to DNA LINK.

Our kit detects COVID-19 through a sample collected from a person’s nose or throat. Testers do not need the expensive equipment necessary for RT-PCR tests,” a DNA LINK official said.

Countries in Asia, South America, and Africa will be able to depend on our assay kits as they are struggling to secure enough equipment for RT-PCT tests. It would also be a perfect fit for airports where rapid tests are crucial.”

For exports of the advanced product, DNA LINK has joined hands with GTG Wellness, a Korean company that manufactures and distributes medical equipment.

DNA LINK noted that it and GTG Wellness will be able to immediately export “AccuFIND COVID19 Ag” kits to all countries excluding those requiring CE certification – DNA LINK is expected to receive the certification this month.

The Seoul-based company also noted that it is developing a versatile diagnostic kit, which can detect both COVID-19 and influenza A/B viruses.

The publisher studied Korean history in Seoul and management of business administration in the United Kingdom. He has 20-year experiences in the media business. Kim can be reached at voc200@gmail.com or 82-2-6956-6698.