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Roche's New Test to Detect Antibodies to Fight Coronavirus

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Roche Holding AG (RHHBY - Free Report) announced that it has developed a new serology test, Elecsys, for detecting antibodies in people who have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) disease.

The company plans to launch Elecsys, the anti-SARS-CoV-2 serology test, in early May in countries that accept the CE mark. Roche is also actively coordinating with the FDA seeking an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the same.

Per the company, detection of these antibodies can help indicate whether a person gained immunity against the virus and inform treatment decisions. Moreover, the antibody testing can help identify people who may have been infected but did not display any symptoms.

The Elecsys immunoassay is an in vitro test, which uses human serum and plasma drawn from a blood sample to detect antibodies and determine the body’s immune reaction to the deadly SARS-CoV-2.

Shares of Roche have gained 2.8% year to date against the industry’s decrease of 4.5%.

Last month, the FDA issued an EUA for Roche’s cobas SARS-CoV-2 Test. The test will be used for qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease, in nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swab samples from patients who meet COVID-19 clinical and/or epidemiological criteria for testing.

Meanwhile, Roche’s rheumatoid arthritis (RA) drug Actemra is currently being investigated for the treatment of patients hospitalized with severe infection due to COVID-19.

Given the severity of the disease, several companies are testing their marketed drugs in studies to check the inflammatory response in patients with the deadly coronavirus infection.

Notably, Incyte (INCY - Free Report) is collaborating with the FDA to commence a phase III study, RUXCOVID, for evaluating the efficacy and safety of Jakafi plus standard-of-care compared to the standard-of-care therapy alone in patients with COVID-19-associated cytokine storm.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN - Free Report) already identified antibodies, which can possibly treat coronavirus. Regeneron and partner Sanofi (SNY - Free Report) are also evaluating their RA drug Kevzara to treat patients hospitalized with deadly infection due to COVID-19.

Zacks Rank

Roche currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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