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QIAGEN (QGEN) Launches RUO Solution to Explore Immune Response

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QIAGEN N.V. (QGEN - Free Report) recently announced the launch of its QuantiFERON SARS-CoV-2 Research Use Only (“RUO”) solution to gain better insights into the COVID-19 infection. Notably, the RUO solution detects T-cells’ (a type of white blood cells) responses of the human immune system to the pathogen that causes COVID-19. This is expected to aid researchers in knowing more about immunity levels and disease progression.

For investors’ note, the QuantiFERON SARS-CoV-2 RUO is an important addition to QIAGEN’s expanding COVID-19 portfolio.

With the latest addition to QIAGEN’s portfolio, the company aims to solidify its foothold in the global Molecular Diagnostics business.

A Few Words on the RUO Solution

The QuantiFERON SARS-CoV-2 RUO is a flexible modular system engineered to meet various research requirements. The solution, which is based on QIAGEN’s easy-to-use QuantiFERON technology, pioneered in the QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus test for latent tuberculosis. Further, it is well-known across the globe for its ability to detect interferon gamma rays that the T-cells release on coming in contact with certain pathogens.

Significance of the Launch

QIAGEN’s QuantiFERON SARS-CoV-2 RUO solution is expected to be a valuable tool in research about the T-cells’ response to the SARS-CoV-2 infection. Studies have demonstrated that T-cells’ response to the SARS-CoV-2 declines more slowly than the antibody response. This presents numerous benefits to researchers who want to explore beyond the existing detection of active infections to screen for potential courses of the infection and long-term immune responses to it.

Further, it is being increasingly believed that the T-cell response provides a reliable indication about the severity of the course of illness triggered by SARS-CoV-2 in infected patients. It also shows how immune the recovered person remains after long periods of having been infected.

Per management, the QuantiFERON technology potentially helping researchers to understand illness pathways and immune responses is crucial for vaccine development and deployment.

Industry Prospects

Per a report by Grand View Research, the global molecular diagnostics market was valued at $9.2 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $18.2 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 9%. Factors like increasing prevalence of infectious diseases and technological advancements in molecular diagnostics are expected to drive the market.

Given the market potential, the recent launch is expected to significantly boost QIAGEN’s Molecular Diagnostics business.

Other COVID-19-Related Developments

Of late, QIAGEN has been making significant progress with respect to its fight against the pandemic, thus boosting its Molecular Diagnostics business.

The company, in November, announced the receipt of the CE-IVD mark and the European launch of the NeuMoDx Flu A-B/RSV/SARS-CoV-2 Vantage Test to identify influenzas A and B, respiratory syncytial virus and SARS-CoV-2 infections. Additionally, the company has expanded specimen types that can be used in the existing NeuMoDx SARS-CoV-2 test. Notably, QIAGEN fully acquired NeuMoDx in September.

Also in November, QIAGEN started commercialization of a portable digital test — QIAreach SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Test — in the United States, to aid laboratories in detecting SARS-CoV-2 antigens in people with active infections in lesser time.

In October, the company announced its plans to launch a straightforward approach to viral RNA epidemiology — QIAprep& Viral RNA UM Kit — that will significantly simplify and accelerate PCR analysis and remove key testing bottlenecks for SARS-CoV-2 and other RNA viruses.

In August, QIAGEN announced the U.S. launch of the QIAreach Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Total Test — an easy-to-use digital test done on a portable device that provides faster results to detect antibodies in people exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Price Performance

Shares of the company have gained 17.9% in the past year compared with the industry’s 6.9% rise and S&P 500’s 18% growth.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Currently, QIAGEN carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks from the broader medical space are Hologic, Inc. (HOLX - Free Report) , Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (TMO - Free Report) and ResMed Inc. (RMD - Free Report) .

Hologic’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 17.4%. The company presently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Thermo Fisher’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 18%. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

ResMed’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 14.5%. The company presently carries a Zacks Rank #2.

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