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Abbott Labs Launches Point-of-Care Diagnostic Tool that Can Detect COVID-19 in 5 Minutes

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Shares of Abbott Laboratories opened 11% higher after the company reported that its ID NOW™ molecular point-of-care test to detect novel coronavirus will be available starting this week with plans to quickly ramp up production to deliver 50,000 tests per day.

Abbott Laboratories (ABT:NYSE) announced Friday that "the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued Emergency Use Authorization for the fastest available molecular point-of-care test for the detection of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), delivering positive results in as little as five minutes and negative results in 13 minutes." The company advised that the test will run on its proprietary ID NOW platform and will be able to deliver very quick results in a complete range of healthcare provider locations including field emergency checkpoints, urgent care clinics, hospital emergency departments and doctors' offices.

The firm noted that the ID NOW platform is small, lightweight and portable device that utilizes molecular technology to produce test results with high degrees of accuracy. The company indicated that the device is about the size of a toaster and only weighs about 6.6 pounds and added that its ID NOW platform is presently the most widely available molecular point-of-care testing platform in the U.S.

The company's President and COO Robert B. Ford commented, "The COVID-19 pandemic will be fought on multiple fronts and a portable molecular test that offers results in minutes adds to the broad range of diagnostic solutions needed to combat this virus...With rapid testing on ID NOW, healthcare providers can perform molecular point-of-care testing outside the traditional four walls of a hospital in outbreak hotspots."

The firm advised that it is working with the government to deploy tests to areas where they can have the greatest impact and it will be making ID NOW COVID-19 tests available this week to U.S. healthcare providers in urgent care settings where the majority of ID NOW instruments are currently in use.

The firm described its ID NOW molecular platform, which it first introduced in 2014, as "the leading molecular point-of-care platform for Influenza A & B, Strep A and RSV testing in the U.S." The company stated that "the ID NOW COVID-19 test comes a week after the company launched its Abbott m2000RealTime SARS-CoV-2 EUA test, which runs on the m2000 RealTime System located in hospital and reference labs around the world." The company indicated that together for both platforms combined it expects to manufacture around 5 million tests per month.

Abbott is headquartered in Abbott Park, Ill., and is a global healthcare provider of diagnostics, medical devices, consumer nutritionals and branded generic medicines. The company employs more than 107,000 people and distributes its products to more than 160 countries.

Abbott Labs has a market capitalization of around $131.5 billion with approximately 1.763 million shares outstanding. ABT shares opened 11% higher today at $82.83 (+$8.27, +11.09%) over Friday's $74.56 closing price. The stock has traded today on more than three times average volume between $78.47 and $84.40 per share and is currently trading at $80.33 (+$5.77, +7.74%).


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