FDA Approves Becton Dickinson’s Antigen Test for COVID-19

FDA Approves Becton Dickinson’s Antigen Test for COVID-19
July 8, 2020


Medical technology company Becton Dickinson and Co (NYSE: BDX) has announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to its COVID-19 antigen test for use at diagnostic testing facilities (Point-of-Care Testing or POCT or bedside testing) and generate results in less than 15 minutes. The stock of Becton Dickinson closed at $251.38, up $0.91 or 0.36% from the prior close.

Antigen trials are a comparatively new kind of trial for COVID-19 that functions by scanning for proteins that are seen on or within a virus. Notably, back in May, the FDA endorsed the COVID-19 antibody test kit developed by Quidel Corp. The FDA has boasted the test kit as a crucial tool for fighting the pandemic as they can be produced swiftly, at a comparatively cheap cost, and conduct tests with a range of settings.

In May, the regulator endorsed the first COVID-19 antibody test kit developed by Quidel Corp.  Becton Dickinson’s Veritor System platform, which is already used by roughly 25,000 healthcare services across the US, is sufficient for using the test kit.

The platform is a little bigger than a mobile phone and does not require a trained laboratory technician to operate. Becton Dickinson claims that it would be able to start conducting 2 million tests a week by the end of September.

Becton Dickinson has rolled out other kinds of trials for COVID-19 in 2020. Furthermore, it is preparing to step up testing capacity in expectation of a second wave of the Coronavirus.

Commenting on the US FDA’s approval, Dave Hickey, president of Becton Dickinson’s integrated diagnostic solutions business, said: “This will be a game-changer for frontline healthcare workers and their patients to be able to access a quick diagnostic test for COVID-19, offering results in real-time at convenient locations like retail pharmacies, urgent care centers, and doctors’ offices.”

The US continues to grapple with a shortage of testing kits and related equipment since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The shortage has resulted in long queues for testing in hot spots such as Texas, Arizona, and Florida as the country witnesses’ record increases in COVID-19 infections. The average wait times have increased to 3-5 days for low priority cases. Quick tests are required for effective battling of the virus’ spread.

The latest antigen testing kit is cost-effective. While the rapid ID NOW system of Abbott Labs costs thousands of dollars, Becton Dickinson’s Veritor Plus System is sold for $250 to $300, and the tests cost roughly $20 each. Quidel’s test could be offered for as low as $5 as per the former FDA Commissioner.

The FDA, however, has cautioned that Antigen tests “may not detect all active infections.” This implies that positive outcomes from antigen tests are usually very accurate, but “there is a higher chance of false negatives, so negative results do not rule out infection.”

The FDA approval for Becton Dickinson’s Antigen Test for COVID-19 is expected to keep the stock bullish in the short-term.

Technically, the stock has broken the resistance level of 245. The next resistance is anticipated only near 270. Furthermore, the stock is trading above its 50-day moving average, while the ultimate oscillator is rising. Therefore, we are expecting the stock to rally in the short-term.

bdx - technical analysis - 8th July 2020

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Richard W

Richard W

Richard is the guy who know everything there is about the financial industry, working in a top firm for over 15 years, he will give the lowdown on some of the biggest companies in the world

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