Abbott Laboratories (ABT) - Get Report shares surged in pre-market trading Thursday after the group unveiled a $5, 15-minute coronavirus test that was granted emergency approval from the U.S. government.
Abbott said the portable antigen test, which will be around the size of a credit card and will be called BinaxNOW, was given emergency use approval from the Food & Drug Administration earlier this week. The test involves what Abbott said would be a less invasive nasal swab and should be shipped by early September. Abbott hopes to have the capacity for 50 million tests per month by the start of October.
Abbott also introduced a free-to-use iPhone app, called NAVICA, that would allow users who test negative for the COVID-19 virus to display that information to others, potentially facilitating freer movement into schools, offices, airplanes and cruise ships.
"We intentionally designed the BinaxNOW test and NAVICA app so we could offer a comprehensive testing solution to help Americans feel more confident about their health and lives," said CEO Robert Ford. "BinaxNOW and the NAVICA app give us an affordable, easy-to-use, scalable test, and a complementary digital health tool to help us have a bit more normalcy in our daily lives."
Abbott shares were marked 7.15% higher in early trading Thursday to change hands at $110.53 each, a move that would extend the stock's year-to-date gain to around 25% and value the Abbott Park, Illinois-based pharma group at just under $200 billion.
U.S. coronavirus cases topped 5.84 million yesterday, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control, with California, Texas, Florida and New York recording the most new infections.