Since the 21st century, as a result of the significant advancements in science and medical technology, the average lifetime of humans has been increasing, and the floating population has increased because of the expansions in trades and travels. This explosive increase in elderly population and unexpected spreading of diseases can lead to social and medical difficulties. Additionally, due to the economic development, the demands for medical services have expanded, which has led to the fast increase in medical expenses from both individuals and nations. In order to solve these problems, it is very important to find means of diagnosing and monitoring diseases quickly, accurately, and economically prior to the treatments, which are costly.
However, the widely used diagnosis type is “Target Diagnostics”, where the targets are chosen beforehand, and then the diagnosis occurs. This method has the risk of various trials and errors if the diagnosis happens to be incorrect. Also, Imaging diagnoses such as CT, MRI, and PET may have harmful effects on human body, so they are not suitable for continuous examinations. Additionally, PCR and mammogram have their limits on accuracy and easiness of use and take relatively long time for diagnosis.
With this background, we decided to establish ASTA, Inc. in 2006 in order to develop a novel next-generation diagnosis system, which is more efficient compared to the traditional diagnosis techniques, so that it can overcome various diseases.
ASTA decided to utilize MALDI-TOF MS, which has received a Nobel prize for its importance in high molecule analysis. We have decided that MALDITOF technology is a better candidate for replacing the traditional diagnosis techniques. Therefore, we have been participating in research and development to develop such core technology for the past ten years, and with the support from the Korean government, we have managed to develop and commercialize various novel products such as next-generation diagnostics system and platform, sample plates, and diagnostics software in 2014.
The novel method of “Next-generation MALDI-TOF based diagnostics system (IDSys; Integrated Diagnostics System)” is capable of combining digital technologies of disease-related database and artificial intelligence software, where the database for various diseases is established based on the standardization of the types and states of various diseases. The “Library Diagnostics” is then performed by matching the database against the test samples to diagnose the diseases in parallel.
We will do our best to contribute to the health and welfare of the humanity by overcoming the weaknesses of the traditional diagnostics system, and expand to the global market to provide our global diagnostics system.