Shares of Quidel Corp. (QDEL) - Get Report jumped Monday on the heels of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's emergency use authorization for the company's rapid-result Covid-19 test amid a push to ramp up detection of the deadly virus.
Quidel's stock price jumped 23% to $195.67 as investors reacted to the green light from the FDA for its Sofia 2 SARS Antigen FIA, which the company says can provide results in 15 minutes.
Quidel's test has the potential to provide a more accurate read on who actually has been infected, with fewer false positives since it focuses on searching for the presence of the virus itself. That's as opposed to widely used antibody tests, which focus on detecting antibodies produced in response to an infection.
In addition, Quidel's new Sofia 2 test is cheaper and easier to produce than other tests current being used to detect the coronavirus, with the potential for mass market production.
On the downside, however, antigen tests can also produce more false negatives, potentially requiring the results to be double-checked via polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, tests, which are more accurate but also take considerably longer to produce results.
The federal agency, in turn, is recommending the results of Quidel's antigen tests - and others it says will be also likely be hitting the market - to be "confirmed with a PCR test prior to make treatment decisions."
Douglas Bryant, chief executive of Quidel, is working on boosting production of the newly approved Sofia 2 antigen test, with a goal of rolling out 1 million a week, according to The Wall Street Journal.