Microbix & Seegene Canada Form COVID-Variant Collaboration

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario and TORONTO, March 15, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Microbix Biosystems Inc. (TSX: MBX, OTCQB: MBXBF, Microbix®), a life sciences innovator and exporter, and Seegene Canada Inc. (Seegene®), a provider of leading-edge molecular diagnostics assays and instruments (made by Seegene Inc. of Seoul, Korea), are pleased to announce a collaboration under which Seegene will distribute and recommend Microbix’s new COVID-variant Quality Assessment Products (QAPs™) to monitor the workflow accuracy of Seegene Allplex® assays across Canada.

In this collaboration, Seegene becomes a QAPs distributor and will recommend Microbix’s whole-genome COVID-variant QAPs to support Seegene’s molecular assays that detect the more-contagious emerging strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus – initially the Brazilian, South African, & UK variants (P.1, B.1.351, & B1.1.7 respectively). Seegene’s unique Allplex assays more rapidly and economically detect the genetic point-mutations associated with these variants. In turn, Microbix’s novel COVID-variant QAPs will monitor the workflow accuracy and laboratory testing performance of those assays.

Combining Seegene’s Allplex new-variant detection assays with Microbix’s new-variant QAPs creates a faster, less-expensive, accurate, and effective means of assessing the prevalence of viral variants in populations. Use of Allplex and QAPs is therefore a superior alternative to costly and slow genomic-sequencing of patient samples. The resulting accurate knowledge of the presence and proportion of viral variants is critical for public health decision-making, including about the severity of lockdowns and the timing and extent of re-openings.

Seegene Allplex assays are designed to readily detect even single-nucleotide changes to genetic sequences and are therefore well-suited to viral variant detection (kits are now available in Canada on an RUO basis). Microbix’s QAPs are available to support both PCR-based (molecular) and antigen-based SARS-CoV-2 assays in refrigerator-stable liquid vials or formatted on Copan® FLOQSwabs® and room-temperature stable. Microbix’s PROCEEDx™ brand QAPs are RUO samples, while its REDx™ brand QAPs are In-Vitro Diagnostic “IVD” Controls. Regular use of QAPs helps ensure the accuracy of laboratory-conducted assays, such as for variant detection.

James Yantzi, CEO of Seegene Canada, commented, “It is vital for Canadian laboratories to have immediate access to the tools they require to generate the data that guides Canada’s public health responses. We’re therefore very pleased to collaborate with Microbix to help ensure the accuracy of our viral variant assays.”

Phil Casselli, SVP of Business Development at Microbix, remarked, “The emergence of variant viral strains drove us to create additional QAPs to support important new assays such as Seegene’s. We are delighted to count Seegene Canada as a supporter of Microbix, a technical collaborator, and our latest QAPs distributor.”

About Microbix Biosystems
Microbix develops proprietary biological technology solutions for human health and well-being, with about 90 skilled employees and sales growing from a base of over $1 million per month. It makes a wide range of critical biological materials for the global diagnostics industry, notably antigens for immunoassays and its laboratory quality assessment products (QAPs™) that support clinical lab proficiency testing, enable assay development and validation, or help ensure the quality of clinical diagnostic workflows. Microbix antigens enable the antibody tests of over 100 international diagnostics companies, while its QAPs are sold to clinical laboratory accreditation organizations, diagnostics companies, and clinical laboratories. Microbix QAPs are now available in over 30 countries, distributed by 1WA (Oneworld Accuracy Inc.), Alpha-Tec Systems, Inc., D.I.D. Diagnostic Int’l Distribution SpA, Labquality Oy, The Medical Supply Company of Ireland Ltd, R-Biopharm AG, and Seegene Canada Inc. Microbix is ISO 9001 and 13485 accredited, U.S. FDA registered, Australian TGA registered, Health Canada establishment licensed, and provides CE marked products.

Microbix also applies its biological expertise and infrastructure to develop other proprietary products and technologies, most notably viral transport medium (DxTM™) to stabilize patient samples for lab-based molecular diagnostic testing and Kinlytic® urokinase, a biologic thrombolytic drug used to treat blood clots. Microbix is traded on the TSX and OTCQB, and headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.

About Seegene Canada Inc.
Seegene Canada Inc. is a Toronto-based subsidiary of Seegene Inc. (of Seoul, Republic of Korea). Seegene companies are global leaders in multiplex molecular diagnostics, and offer platforms with real-time PCR amplification technologies. The Seegene Inc. sales network covers over 60 countries, with subsidiaries in Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Mexico, the Middle East, and the United States.

Forward-Looking Information
This news release includes “forward-looking information,” as such term is defined in applicable securities laws. Forward-looking information includes, without limitation, all discussion regarding Seegene, its products and the collaboration, Microbix’s products, Microbix’s business and business results, goals or outlook, risks associated with financial results and stability, development projects such as those referenced in its corporate presentation, regulatory compliance and approvals, sales to domestic or foreign jurisdictions, engineering and construction, production (including control over costs, quality, quantity and timeliness of delivery), foreign currency and exchange rates, maintaining adequate working capital and raising further capital on acceptable terms or at all, and other similar statements concerning anticipated future events, conditions or results that are not historical facts. These statements reflect management’s current estimates, beliefs, intentions and expectations; they are not guarantees of future performance. The Company cautions that all forward looking information is inherently uncertain and that actual performance may be affected by a number of material factors, many of which are beyond the Company’s control. Accordingly, actual future events, conditions and results may differ materially from the estimates, beliefs, intentions and expectations expressed or implied in the forward-looking information. All statements are made as of the date of this news release and represent the Company’s judgement as of the date of this new release, and the Company is under no obligation to update or alter any forward-looking information.

Please visit www.microbix.com or www.sedar.com for recent Microbix news and filings.

For further information, please contact Microbix at:
Cameron Groome, CEO
(905) 361-8910
Jim Currie, CFO
(905) 361-8910
Deborah Honig, Investor Relations
Adelaide Capital Markets
(647) 203-8793 ir@microbix.com
   

Copyright © 2021 Microbix Biosystems Inc.
Microbix®, DxTM™, Kinlytic®, PROCEEDx™, QAPs™, and REDx™ are trademarks of Microbix Biosystems Inc.
PROCEEDx™FLOQ® and REDx™FLOQ® are trademarks of Microbix Biosystems Inc. in collaboration with Copan Italia S.p.A.
Copan®, FLOQ®, and FLOQSwab® are trademarks of Copan Italia S.p.A.
Seegene® and Allplex® are trademarks of Seegene Inc.


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