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Seegene Completes IPO, Raises $16.6M

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Korean molecular diagnostics firm Seegene today said it has raised $16.6 million in its initial public offering.

The company said it had sold 636,500 shares of its stock on the KOSDAQ (Korea Securities Dealers Automated Quotations) at KRW30,500 ($26.16) per share, and now has a market capitalization of $167 million.

In a statement, it said that it plans to use funds from the IPO to expand its international presence with a particular eye toward the US and Japan, where it is seeking regulatory approval for its portfolio of multiplex PCR-based diagnostic tests.

According to CEO Jong-Yoon Chun, as the company grows internationally, Seegene will seek listing on the Nasdaq in about three years.

The company, which is based in Seoul and has a subsidiary in Rockville, Md., develops molecular diagnostics based on PCR and real-time PCR technology.

Earlier this year, Seegene introduced a new technology dubbed real amplicon detection PCR, which combines the advantages of multiplex and nested real-time PCR, improving the speed of test processing by four times and increasing specificity of pathogen detection by 10-fold and sensitivity by 100-fold over current technologies, according to GenomeWeb Daily News' sister publication PCR Insider.

During the summer, the company introduced the Magicplex Sepsis test for the identification of more than 90 sepsis-causing pathogens, and the Anyplex MDR-TB assay for the identification of tuberculosis as well as genetic mutations in TB that result in resistance to the drugs isoniazid and rifampicin.

The company also plans to launch Magicplex blood-screening and tumor detection tests and a complete automated testing platform by the end of this year, it said.

Seegene had sales of $9.5 million for the first half of 2010, and annual revenues of $11.2 million in 2009.

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