On January 16, four days before South Korea confirmed its first COVID-19 case, Chun Jong-yoon, Chief Executive Officer and founder of molecular biotech company Seegene, told his team to start focusing on the coronavirus. Fast forward two months, and South Korea is among the world’s worst affected countries.
The company’s basement houses an artificial intelligence big data system, enablung the firm to quickly develop a test for coronavirus. Without the computer, it would have taken the team at least three months to develop such a test. This time, it was done in a matter of weeks.
By January 24, the scientists had ordered the raw materials they needed for the test kits. Four days later, they arrived. On February 5, the first version of the test was ready.
The company designed the test using only the genetic details released about the virus, without having a COVID-19 sample.