Roche Launch New COVID test in Europe
On Wednesday morning before the opening bell, Roche announced they will launch in late September a new Rapid Antigen Test development for the detection of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome COV-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections. Roche expects monthly production of 40 million doses in countries accepting the CE mark (i.e., the EU), with further expansion of manufacturing capability to more than 80 million tests by the end of 2020.
In comparison to Abbott, the Roche test will give results in 15 minutes, is highly portable, easy-to-use, and affordable. The pricing of Roche’s test will be slightly higher than Abbott’s, which was priced at $5. JP Morgan analysts assume that Roche could price the tests at $6 each. Additionally, The test has 96.52% sensitivity and 99.68% specificity, which is similar to the Abbott test (which showed 97.1% sensitivity and 98.5% specificity), but with the Roche data coming from a much broader clinical trial base.
Thomas Schinecker, CEO of Roche Diagnostics, stated, “As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, healthcare systems remain challenged. Testing continues to be an important focus for many countries. Especially in the upcoming flu season, it is important to know whether a person has SARS-CoV-2 or the flu to ensure the right course of treatment. COVID-19 testing solutions that provide healthcare professionals and patients with a quick answer regarding their infection status are critical to contain the community-spread of the COVID-19 virus. We are working relentlessly to deliver solutions that help alleviate some of the healthcare burden with reliable SARS-CoV-2 testing solutions as we learn more about the disease and how it affects people around the world.”
The antigen test will reliably and quickly triage people suspected of SARS-CoV-2, allowing informed treatment decisions that accurately screens individuals with known exposure to infected SARS-CoV-2 patients. The test provides fast answers regarding their infection status and the instrument-free testing kit will enable convenient use for healthcare professionals at different points of care locations.
In response to the news, JP Morgan analysts see this test as providing a further boost to Roche 2020 sales and should provide investors with incremental confidence in Roche’s 2020 guidance for low to mid-single digit sales growth and Core EPS to grow broadly in line with sales.
Disclosure: At the time of publication, I have no positions in any of the securities mentioned in this article. I wrote this article myself , and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for creating this article (other than from TheStreet) and have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.