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Seegene and DuPont Nutrition & Health Agree to Develop Highly Multiplexed Molecular Assays for Food Safety Testing

Seegene Inc., a leading developer of multiplex molecular technologies and diagnostic tests, and DuPont Nutrition & Health, a leading provider of rapid, molecular diagnostic systems, have agreed to jointly develop new, highly multiplexed assays for the detection of foodborne pathogens.

Combining novel technologies from Seegene with the powerful chemistry and analytics of the BAX(R) System from DuPont allows for a potential step-change in pathogen testing. For example, Seegene DPO(TM) technology generates consistently high specificity by eliminating primer competition, and TOCE(TM) technology allows the identification of multiple targets in a single dye channel. With this agreement, DuPont and Seegene are seeking to develop highly multiplexed, real-time PCR assays that provide for rapid detection and differentiation of 10 or more organisms from a single sample in a single test.

"We are constantly seeking innovative collaborators to develop science-based solutions that will meet evolving needs for food safety and quality," said George Tice, research and development director, DuPont Qualicon Diagnostics. "This integration of unique Seegene technologies with robust diagnostic systems from DuPont will give the food industry increasingly powerful tools to help protect their products and their brands."

"Working with DuPont Qualicon Diagnostics opens a significant new market opportunity for our portfolio of multiplex molecular technologies," said Jong-Yoon Chun, founder and CEO of Seegene. "By leveraging these novel technologies, we can advance from the current 'one test, one pathogen' approach to a 'one test, many pathogens' paradigm. This will significantly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of food safety testing, and help to reduce the prevalence of foodborne illness."

This initiative marks the entry of Seegene's multiplex technologies into the multi-billion dollar food safety testing market. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, foodborne illness each year in the United States alone affects 48 million people.

DPO(TM) technology is a fundamental tool for blocking extension of non-specifically primed templates, generating assays that are both highly specific and highly sensitive. TOCE enables simultaneous multiplex testing, by using the differences in melting temperatures of designed artificial amplicons. Prior to TOCE, multiplex assays were difficult because even a small variation in amplicon sequences changes the melting temperature (Tm) of the amplicon. TOCE technology overcomes current limitations of Tm analysis and allows testing of multiple targets with one fluorescent label by ensuring that sequence variation does not change the melting temperature.

Food processing companies around the world rely on the BAX(R) system from DuPont Qualicon Diagnostics to detect pathogens or other organisms in raw ingredients, finished products and environmental samples. The automated system uses leading-edge technology, including polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays, tableted reagents and optimized media to detect Salmonella, Listeria species, Listeria monocytogenes, E. coli O157:H7 and STEC, Cronobacter, Campylobacter, Staphylococcus aureus, Vibrio, and yeast and mold. With certifications and regulatory approvals in the Americas, Asia and Europe, the BAX(R) system is one of the most advanced pathogen testing system available to food companies.

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