On Wednesday after the closing bell, Abbott Laboratories (ABT) announced the approval of its new BinaxNOW COVID-19 point-of-care antigen test, a significant addition to the company’s existing portfolio of lab-based serology and antigen tests. Abbott is working to support communities worldwide and help fight the spread and threat of COVID-19.
As the virus continues to spread, Abbott decided to create the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card to detect antigens (proteins on the outside of the virus). The test helps identify active infections in 15 minutes, is highly portable, easy-to-use, affordable, and can be used in a number of near-patient settings outside the hospital.
In addition, Abbott is offering the NAVICA app, which allows people who test negative to display a temporary digital health pass that's renewed each time a person is tested through their provider along with the date of the result. The app is available on iPhone and Android devices at no additional cost.
This isn’t the first time Abbott has made a move to defeat the virus. In fact, Abbott has already launched six tests for COVID-19 (three molecular, one antigen — which pairs with an optional mobile app — and two serology tests) all of which received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
In response to the news, analysts at Morgan Stanley raised their price target from $106 to $112 and stated that Abbott's BinaxNOW COVID-19 antigen is bigger and better than expected.
The analysts stated: “Test performance is better than we anticipated, with 97.1% sensitivity and 98.5% specificity based on 35 and 67 samples, respectively, akin to Quidel's Sofia. Volumes are higher out of the gate than expectations, at 20-25mn tests expected to ship in September, and then 50mn per month in October and beyond.”
Abbott is expected to organic growth in 2020 despite COVID-19, driven by relative business insulation and key product growth (Libre, MitraClip, and Diagnostic testing).
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