KUALA LUMPUR: Hong Seng Consolidated Bhd says it is venturing into distributing Covid-19 antibody testing kits.
The company on Friday announced that its wholly-owned HS Bio Sdn Bhd was buying a 51 per cent stake in Covid-19 antibody testing distributor RZAC Immunesafe Sdn Bhd for RM40.3 million.
The announcement came a day after news of Hong Seng, via a 51-owned subsidiary, securing a RM112 million one-year contract to supply Covid-19 test kits to the Health Ministry.
RZAC is a strategic collaborative partner of government institutes and agencies which are jointly spearheading the ImmuSAFE Covid+ biochip test through Neogenix Laboratoire Sdn Bhd for the purposes of conducting neutralising antibody testing on the population.
RZAC shareholders are Datuk Seri Shahril Mokhtar, Datuk Wan Khalik Wan Muhammad and RZAC Business Sdn Bhd.
Neogenix Lab, meanwhile, is a 60 per cent-owned subsidiary of HS Bio.
Hong Seng executive director and HS Bio director Christopher Tan said due to different individual response to the various vaccines, true neutralising antibody testing was important to gauge the ability to reach herd immunity in respect of Covid-19.
"ImmuSAFE Covid+ Biochip is a 100 per cent accurate supplementary test when combined together with the RT-PCR can give you a complete image of whether a person has been infected with the Covid-19 virus.
"Additionally, following Covid-19 vaccination, this test can confirm if an individual has generated a sufficiently strong immune response to the vaccine to confer protection and evaluate whether a booster vaccine is required. This can be considered a new subset of precision medicine which our Neogenix Lab is involved in," he added.
Hong Seng claimed that ImmuSAFE Covid+ Biochip was the world's first lab-based, multi-antigen, multi-domain, fully-quantitative serology test which offers information on risk factors of infectiousness and presence and quantity of protective antibodies against Covid-19, in both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals.
The company said should the latest proposed acquisition of RZAC materialise, it would add another dimension to HS Bio's stacked list of healthcare solutions through the companies that it owns such as Pantasniaga Sdn Bhd, Neogenix Lab, MedAsia Sdn Bhd Neogenix Sdn Bhd as well as HS Ligno Sdn Bhd.