Veredus Laboratories was founded in 2003 and launched its first products in 2005. Veredus Laboratories is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SEKISUI CHEMICAL CO., LTD. Veredus manufactures and markets the VerePLEX™ Biosystem to provide innovative multiplexed molecular solutions in the food safety, biosurveillance, infectious disease and custom testing markets. The VerePLEX™ Biosystem works in conjunction with VereChip™ - a Lab-on-Chip platform that combines Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) with micro-fluidics to integrate multiplexed nucleic acid amplification with microarray detection for rapid, cost-effective, and accurate analysis of biological materials.

With the recent identification and mapping of genome sequences belonging to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in January 2020, Veredus Laboratories designed primers and probes within two weeks for the Lab-on-Chip (LOC) test to specifically detect and identify SARS-CoV-2 from nasal or throat swab specimen. This molecular LOC test, called VereCoV™ Detection Kit, delivers test results in less than 2.5 hours using the VerePLEX™ Biosystem platform which integrates both PCR and microarray technologies. VereCoV™ Detection Kit is commercially available as a CE-IVD (In vitro Diagnostic) test.

Delivering a test sensitivity of LOD (Limit of Detection) ranging between 100 to 200 copies of viral RNA per test, VereCoV™ Detection Kit has more than 99% specificity, without any cross-reactivity with the Human genome, other families of Coronavirus or respiratory viruses such as Influenza virus. As part of Singapore’s efforts to control and minimise the spread of COVID-19 amongst populations, in particular towards Air, Land and Sea (ALS) traffic into Singapore, the government established laboratory testing capabilities starting 5 March 2020 which made it mandatory for travellers with clinical symptoms of respiratory illness and/or fever to provide nasal swab specimens for testing using VereCoV™ Detection Kit. Consequently, the government reported several imported cases of COVID-19 and containment actions were implemented.

So how can a country benefit from this? The COVID-19 pandemic taught a valuable lesson to everyone highlighting that an infectious biological agent has the potential to be highly transmissible and deadly, resulting in a feasible threat towards healthcare system and national security. One key focus is on the readiness and magnitude of implementing a biosurveillance infrastructure nationwide accompanying with technologies that are capable of supporting the initiative. On this note, Veredus contributes significantly to Singapore during this COVID-19 pandemic in this biological warfare against SARS-CoV-2.