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Seegene Partners With Mexican Government to Diagnose Bovine TB

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Seegene said today that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with a research agency of the Agriculture Department of Mexico (SAGARPA) to conduct clinical studies and develop products for bovine tuberculosis diagnosis.

The agreement with the Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestates, Agrícolas y Pecuarias (INIFAP) covers collaborative studies to evaluate molecular detection assays for bovine TB, as well as studies on zoonotic TB diagnosis and control for people who work in the livestock industry.

Bovine TB diagnosis is generally done with immunological assays which are often inaccurate and not fast enough. In addition, zoonotic TB in humans caused by Mycobacterium bovis has become a problem in Mexico and other countries, yet the extent of the problem is unknown because conventional diagnostics can't differentiate between M. bovis and M. tuberculosis.

Seegene said that its multiplex MDx technology will quickly, accurately, and affordably detect and differentiate M. bovis, M. bovis BCG, and M. tuberculosis.

"We plan to deploy bovine TB detection assays developed with Seegene's core technologies to the nationwide disease monitoring and surveillance program in Mexico," Hugo Fragoso Sánchez, quarantine/monitoring director of SENASICA (Servicio Nacional De Sanidad, Inocuidad y Calidad Agroalimentaria) said in a statement. "It carries great significance in that it is the nation's first implementation of bovine TB molecular diagnostics to prevent and control livestock diseases."

Seegene said that it plans to launch a product by the end of the year.

In 2016 Seegene established a joint venture in Mexico with Biodist Group to commercialize its PCR-based molecular diagnostics for both human and non-human applications in Mexico and, eventually, other parts of Latin America.