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OPKO Health's (OPK) Arm Declares Readiness for COVID-19 Testing

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OPKO Health Inc.’s (OPK - Free Report) company — BioReference Laboratories — recently made an announcement regarding its COVID-19 testing preparedness in the face of the Omicron Variant. In fact, BioReference’s PCR diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2 COVID-19 are based on identifying specific RNA target genes, which are common to all coronaviruses.

Interestingly, the diagnostic targets have not altered with the novel COVID-19 variants to date. The changes that can be seen to take place are within the Spike (S)-gene, which is responsible for the spike protein and other genes not associated with the diagnostic targets utilized for making the diagnosis. These changes create no interference with the high throughput RT/PCR assays owing to these tests having multiple genomic targets.

This announcement is likely to provide a boost to OPKO Health’s BioReference platform.

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Per management, the emergence of the Omicron Variant is likely to have no impact on BioReference’s capability to diagnose the presence of COVID-19 with its lab based PCR platforms and point of care/rapid devices.

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The company remains focused on maintaining its existing testing capacity and boosting the same to mid-pandemic levels according to the need.

It is important to mention here that BioReference has performed above 19 million PCR tests and more than 1 million point-of-care tests since the beginning of the pandemic.

Market Prospects

Per a report by Allied Market Research, the global point-of-care diagnostics market was worth $22,975 million in 2015 and is projected to reach $43,336 million by 2022, witnessing a CAGR of 9.4% during the forecast period (2016-2022). Hence, this announcement is well-timed for BioReference.

Recent Developments

In September, OPKO Health announced the formation of a joint venture (JV) with pharmaceutical development company, LeaderMed Health Group Limited, to develop, manufacture and commercialize two of OPKO’s clinical stage, long-acting drug products (oxyntomodulin analog, OPK88003, and novel long-acting coagulation factor, Factor VIIa-CTP) in Greater China and eight other Asian territories.

In August, the company announced the completion of enrollment in its Phase 2 trial with RAYALDEE as a treatment for mild-to-moderate COVID-19. The trial was a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of RAYALDEE (calcifediol) Extended-release Capsules to treat symptomatic patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 (REsCue).

Price Performance

Shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have gained 3.5% on a year-to-date basis compared with the industry’s growth of 5.7%.

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader medical space include Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (TMO - Free Report) , McKesson Corporation (MCK - Free Report) and AngioDynamics, Inc. (ANGO - Free Report) .

Thermo Fisher surpassed earnings estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 9.02%. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Thermo Fisher’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 14%. The company’s earnings yield of 3.7% compares favorably with the industry’s (3.6%).

McKesson beat earnings estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 19.9%. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #2.

McKesson’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 8.9%. The company’s earnings yield of 9.9% compares favorably with the industry’s 3.2%.

AngioDynamics surpassed earnings estimates in three of the trailing four quarters and missed once, the average surprise being 125.6%. The company currently sports a Zacks Rank #1.

AngioDynamics’ consensus mark for revenues for fiscal 2022 stands at $313.3 million, suggesting an improvement of 7.7% from the prior-year reported figure. The company’s earnings yield of 0.1% compares favorably with the industry’s (3.6%).