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Abbott Laboratories (ABT - Analyst Report) recently announced that the company obtained license for its RealTime High Risk HPV molecular diagnostic test from the Medical Device Bureau of Health Canada.

Abbott Labs’ RealTime High Risk HPV molecular diagnostic test enables detection of human papillomavirus (HPV) which is the prime cause of cervical cancer.

The test is performed on the Abbott Labs’ m2000 RealTime molecular diagnostics system and is already available in the US and Europe. 

We note that Abbott Labs continues to invest in the development of next-generation instruments and other advanced technologies in its diagnostics business.

Molecular diagnostics continues to be a key area of focus and Abbott Labs expects accelerated growth from molecular diagnostics in the second quarter of 2013 along with increased revenues from core laboratory and point of care diagnostics business. 

In Apr 2013, Abbott Labs launched a laboratory automation track system ACCELERATOR a3600, which is a next-generation track system to increase efficiency in laboratories.

Meanwhile, the nutrition business also holds promise and Abbott Labs expects accelerated growth from both the nutrition and diagnostics businesses in 2013.

We remind investors that Abbott Labs became a diversified medical products company focusing on branded generic pharmaceutical, medical devices, diagnostic and nutritional businesses following the separation of its research-based pharmaceuticals business into a new company, AbbVie Inc. (ABBV - Analyst Report), in Jan 2013.

We believe the diversification bodes well for Abbott Labs and should enable the company to counter the challenging business environment as a result of austerity measures undertaken by developed markets in 2013 coupled with weak economic conditions and a mixed global economy.

Abbott Labs currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).  Right now, AtriCure, Inc. (ATRC - Snapshot Report) and TranS1 Inc look well placed with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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