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OpGen Announces Rapid Panel Test Results for COVID-19 Patients

OpGen says rapid detection could cut down on unnecessary antibiotic use. OpGen shares continue to rise.

OpGen  (OPGN)  shares took off Monday after the precision medical company said a peer-reviewed publication found its Unyvero Hospitalized Pneumonia panel was a reliable and rapid diagnostic test to identify bacterial co-infections in hospitalized COVID-19 patients with pneumonia in five hours.

Shares of the company from Gaithersburg, Maryland were up nearly 75% to $3.42 at last check.

OpGen said that the final results of this study were published in the European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases and found that the Unyvero HPN panel provides accurate detection of common agents of bacterial pneumonia with an overall high negative predictive value of 99.8% for pathogen detection.

The company said that this could potentially cut down on unnecessary antibiotic use and supporting antibiotic stewardship efforts.

The study's authors said that nearly 80% of the patients admitted in the ICU with COVID-19 receive antibiotics. OpGen said that "inappropriate use of antibiotics is a well-established driver for the emergence of antimicrobial resistance among bacterial pathogens."

The panel detects 21 clinically relevant pathogens and 17 antibiotic resistance markers in less than five hours directly from native specimens with only around two minutes of hands-on time.

In comparison, routine bacterial cultures can take up to several days for confirmatory pathogen identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing result

Samples for the test were collected during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Stockholm from March 2020 through June 2020.

Data showed that Unyvero HPN could detect bacterial pathogens from patient samples that were negative by culture initially, but when subsequent cultures were ordered on these patients during the later course of their hospital stay they were in fact positive for the same pathogen. 

This indicated that the HPN panel can detect potential pathogens earlier than culture, which may enable earlier treatment of patients, OpGen said.

"Rapid and accurate detection is essential to assess bacterial pneumonia co-infections in critically ill COVID-19 patients,"  Faranak Atrzadeh, chief marketing and scientific affairs officer of OpGen said in a statement.