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BD Diagnostics, a part of Becton, Dickinson and Company (BDX - Analyst Report), recently revealed the research-use-only launch of a test meant to quickly zero in on antibiotic resistance genes present in the superbug called carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE). This assay is not meant for in vitro diagnostic usage.

Killer organisms such as CRE, are resistant to most antibiotics and are linked with high mortality rates. In certain instances, there is no remedy for a CRE infection.

The assay carried out on the BD Max System is geared to find carbapenem resistance genes and report results in only two hours. Orthodox procedures would require a few days to report results.

The BD Max System is an automatic molecular system meant to carry out a wide array of tests. It already provides several assays to tackle healthcare-related infections such as staphylococcus aureus.  

We remain cautious about Becton Dickinson due to the lack of major short-term catalysts. The rising demand for safety-needle products (with higher price points and margins) was the primary driver of the company’s past growth, which is not expected to continue, given that the U.S. market is already largely penetrated.

On the positive side, Becton Dickinson’s preeminent global healthcare products franchise is partly insulated from volatile macroeconomic conditions and structural deficiencies elsewhere in the healthcare delivery field.

Becton Dickinson faces a wide range of competitors, including Baxter International (BAX - Analyst Report) in certain niches, in each of its three business segments. We currently have a long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock. The stock currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating.

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