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Bio-Rad's ddPCR System Detects Coronavirus More Accurately

Zacks Equity Research

Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. BIO announced that the performance of its QX200 Droplet Digital polymerase chain reaction (PCR) (ddPCR) System for the clinical detection of SARS-CoV-2 was proved to be more accurate compared to the existing testing procedures performed using qPCR. The findings have been published in two studies this month, ahead of peer-review.

Notably, the company is working to provide access to the ddPCR-based tests for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. Bio-Rad is also collaborating with Biodesix in Colorado to bring an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) test online.

The recent outcomes fortify Bio-Rad’s global Clinical Diagnostics business.

 



 

Significance of the Studies

Per the first study, clinicians in Wuhan, China, concluded that a sample of infected individuals, who was initially tested negative for COVID-19 using qPCR, was tested positive using ddPCR. Per the findings, it can be deduced that ddPCR can reduce false-negative results of COVID-19, without leading to an increase in false-positive results. This could be a significant improvement to the current testing standards.

Per the second study, which was led by the National Institute of Metrology and provincial CDCs in China, it was concluded that ddPCR significantly improves the diagnostic detection accuracy of SARS-CoV-2. Additionally, ddPCR was found to be more sensitive and appropriate for those patients in isolation and observation, who are currently not showing any clinical symptoms.

 

 

Industry Prospects

Per a report by Grand View Research, the global in vitro diagnostics market size was valued at $60.8 billion in 2019 and is expected to witness a CAGR of 4.4% between 2020 and 2027. Factors like growing adoption of fully automated instruments, automation in laboratories and increasing adoption of point-of-care testing are likely to drive the market.

Recent Developments in Clinical Diagnostics

Of late, Bio-Rad has been working impressively to meet the testing requirements for COVID-19.

The company announced in March that it is providing its Real-Time qPCR products to testing laboratories worldwide to screen for COVID-19. The products include Bio-Rad’s CFX Real-Time PCR Detection Systems and reagents such as its Reliance One-Step Multiplex RT-qPCR Supermix.

Bio-Rad further announced the launch of SARS CoV-2 Standard to support laboratory assay authentication of coronavirus testing and accelerate the access to testing through its Exact Diagnostics product line.

Price Performance

Shares of the company have climbed 9.9% in the past year against the industry’s 23.6% decline.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Currently, Bio-Rad carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Some better-ranked stocks from the broader medical space are ResMed Inc. RMD, Medtronic plc MDT and Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. HRC.

ResMed has a projected long-term earnings growth rate of 14.4%. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Medtronic’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 7.1%. The company presently has a Zacks Rank #2.

Hill-Rom’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 11.1%. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2.

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