- Beckton Dickinson receives EUA for its COVID-19 antigen test from the U.S. FDA.
- The U.S. company to produce 2 million tests per week by the end of September.
- Regeneron Pharmaceuticals starts late-stage trial for its candidate COVID-19 vaccine.
Becton Dickinson (NYSE: BDX) said on Monday that it received emergency use authorisation (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its COVID-19 antigen test that takes up to 15 minutes to produce results. The U.K. recently ordered 65 million needles and syringes from Becton Dickinson.
Shares of the company remained almost flat in premarket trading on Monday. At £195.85 per share, Becton Dickinson is roughly 10% down year to date in the stock market after recovering from an even lower £160.50 per share in March. It has a market capitalisation of £56.76 billion and a price to earnings ratio of 72.94.
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Becton Dickinson to ramp up production of its antigen test
An antigen test is capable of identifying proteins that are commonly found on the surface of or inside the novel Coronavirus. According to the FDA, such tests are crucial for an efficient response to the pandemic as they are cost-effective to produce at a relatively faster pace, and are applicable for testing patients in multiple settings.
As per Becton Dickinson, the recently approved COVID-19 test is compatible with its Veritor System platform that is already popular in the U.S. with roughly 25,000 of the countrywide healthcare facilities currently making use of it.
Administering the diagnostic test does not require lab scientists or specialised skills. According to the American medical technology company, it will ramp up production to 2 million tests per week in the U.S. by September-end.
Regeneron starts late-stage trial for its candidate COVID-19 vaccine
In other news from the U.S. pharmaceutical sector, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: REGN) announced its antibody cocktail as a potential cure for COVID-19 to have entered late-stage clinical trials. The company is now testing the effectiveness of its candidate vaccine for both treatment and prevention of the novel respiratory disease.
For late-stage human testing, Regeneron hopes to see participation from about 2,000 patients across 100 sites in the United States. The company also already assessed the safety of its antibody cocktail in a previous trial.
Only a handful of U.S. drugmakers have begun human trials of their experimental vaccines for COVID-19 so far. Other than Regeneron, such front-runners include Eli Lilly, Gilead Sciences, and AbbVie. Regeneron also tested an arthritis drug for COVID-19 in collaboration with French Sanofi, that failed to show benefits in late April.
Shares of the company were reported about 3.5% up in premarket trading on Monday. At £488.43 per share, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals is currently about 65% up year to date in the stock market. At the time of writing, the American biotechnology company is valued at £50.95 billion and has a price to earnings ratio of 31.27.