GC Labs, the leading clinical laboratory from South Korea, is keen to expand its operations internationally and is looking at Dubai, UAE as a hub, said Sean Hwang, Head of Global Diagnostics & Communication, GC Labs.
“This is our second year at Medlab Middle East Congress and we are delighted to be a part of this exhibition once again. It has been a busy four days with a lot of inquiries pouring in. We are a clinical laboratory, providing service to all partners who cannot do certain tests in their laboratory. We receive samples from 13 different countries largely spread across Asia and the Middle East, and some from Europe. Overall, there are about 20 partners.”
GC Labs is South Korea’s first commercial laboratory and was established in 1982. It conducts 92 million tests per year, of which 5,000 are esoteric tests. Some of the popular categories of tests include: genetics, endocrinology, infectious disease, microbiology, and immunology.
“I think the Middle East is also a very promising market, particularly the UAE, and Saudi Arabia, which are the two top tier countries in terms of market size and evolution of the market. We are keen on Dubai because of its strategic location and the business-friendly landscape. Even though the UAE is a smaller country compared with others regionally, it scores high on its several business-friendly parameters and facilities. Its strategic location could also be beneficial, should we choose to come and set up shop here. We could cater to the local population needs, and that of the nearby regions, such as the Middle East, Africa, and Europe,” said Hwang.
He added: “We are part of the Green Cross group with 30 other subsidiaries. We are engaged in the laboratory business, conduct research for medical devices; got a big biopharma generating a revenue of over US$1.5 billion. So, if we were to expand our presence in the UAE, we could build more than just a laboratory.”
The laboratory takes pride in scoring high five counts among the competition: high accuracy rates, quick turnaround time, precise reporting standards, the small rejection rate for samples collected, and lastly owning its own biological system.
“Owning a biological system is a big advantage for us, which helps reduce the turnaround time. Besides, since GC Labs is part of a bigger company with 40 subsidiaries, the expertise and other services that we will bring with us to the UAE will benefit the industry locally,” Hwang noted.
Even though GC Labs scores high on a number of technical expertise and abilities, such as quick turnaround time and high accuracy, its presence only in its home country has limited its scope of business. “Flying time to Korea is over 10 hours from the Middle East. Therefore, it is easier for companies here and in MENA to send their samples to Europe. We want to capture that market by expanding our operations in the region.”
GC Labs has more than 400 medical technicians, 43 medical doctors, and an advanced lab information system, similar to a hospital information system, or HIS. “These are key to our high-efficiency levels,” said Hwang.
The laboratory has top accreditations including CAP, ISO 15189, CDC, and CLSI.