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Coronavirus Testing Players Gain Momentum: 3 Stocks in Focus

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The COVID-19 jitters have been intensifying since the viral outbreak was declared a pandemic by WHO last week.Last month, a study by The Guardian estimated that the outbreak might cost the global economy more than $1 trillion.Similar to other benchmark indices, the Dow Jones plummeted almost 3000 points, on Mar 17, mostly as investors believe that the Fed’s slashing of interest rates could barely do much to mitigate the crisis.

Diagnostic Testing Companies Gaining Traction

Most U.S. companies across all industry domains have slashed their first-quarter guidance owing to expectations of revenue losses. However, there are several key biotech and molecular diagnostic players whose prospects seem bright on account of rigorous work on the development of diagnostic testing for the coronavirus and attaining regulatory approvals for them.On Feb 29, the FDA made a flexible decision to allow certain certified laboratories to urgently begin developing validated coronavirus diagnostics, subject to the condition that the test is submitted for review within 15 days to the federal agency.

In this regard, LabCorp (LH - Free Report) announced the availability of its LabCorp 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), NAA test, effective Mar 5, for doctors and other authorized healthcare personnel in the United States. The test diagnoses the presence of the underlying virus responsible for COVID-19 and should benefit patients who meet current guidelines for evaluation of the disease. Also, Bio-Rad Laboratories (BIO - Free Report) announced the launch of SARS CoV-2 Standard to enable the laboratory assay authentication of testing for COVID-19 as well as accelerate the access to testing. Notably, the SARS CoV-2 Standard was launched through the company’s Exact Diagnostics product line.

3 Stocks to Keep an Eye On:

These Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stocks have been outperforming with their major strides in coronavirus testing. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.


Roche Holding (RHHBY - Free Report) : This company recently attained the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the cobas SARS-CoV-2 Test. The test will be used for qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2in nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swab samples from patients who meet COVID-19 clinical and/or epidemiological criteria for testing. The CE-IVD test is also available in markets accepting the CE mark for patients with signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and living in affected areas. The cobas test aims to deliver outcomes with a total of 1,440 samples tested per day on the 6800 system and 4,128 per day on the larger 8800. Also, the FDA has declared that it has approved the pre-shipping of the tests to laboratories so that they can be utilized immediately following authorization.

In the past year, the company’s shares have outperformed the industry. The stock has rallied 16.6% against the industry’s 12.6% decline.

Thermo Fisher (TMO - Free Report) : This global manufacturer of scientific instruments recently attained EUA from the FDA for its diagnostic test to be used immediately by CLIA high-complexity laboratories in the United States. The test has been developed for the detection of nucleic acid exclusively from SARS-CoV-2. The authorized test utilizes the Applied Biosystems TaqPath Assay technology and has been developed to deliver patient outcomes within four hours of a sample reaching a laboratory. The estimated time-to-result constitutes of time for sample preparation and instrument analysis. The EUA test is optimized for use on the company's Applied Biosystems 7500 Fast Dx Real-time PCR instrument. The instrument is covered under the EUA and is already utilized in clinical laboratories across the globe.

In the past year, the company’s shares have outperformed the industry.The stock has rallied 11.4% against the industry’s 21.7% decline.


Quest Diagnostics (DGX - Free Report) : This major diagnostic testing firm recently announced plans to launch the COVID-19 test service once it is prepared to receive specimens for testing. Notably, the testing procedures have  started from Mar 9, 2020. Through the latest service, the company will cater to the testing requirements of patients in the United States. This test would facilitate the potential detection of nucleic acid in respiratory specimens of patients who fulfill CDC's clinical criteria for COVID-19 testing.

In the past year, the company’s shares have outperformed the industry. The stock has lost 3.6% compared with the industry’s 19.2% decline.


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