The new coronavirus has sickened more than 40,000 people and killed at least 910
Shares of Co-Diagnostics (CODX) are on the rise on Monday after the company announced sales of its screening test designed to identify the presence of the novel coronavirus that originated in China before spreading across the world. The micro-cap stock has risen on several days recently following its announcements regarding the test development and commercialization efforts.
SCREENING TEST SALES: Co-Diagnostics has announced sales of its screening test designed to identify the presence of the novel coronavirus that originated in China before spreading across the world over the past month. The order calls for delivery of tests to be distributed to various international markets and included payment for the initial shipment of assays.
"The rapid development and time to commercialization was possible thanks to the innovation of our proprietary and patented platform, our dedicated employees, and the support of our suppliers. We are pleased to be able to offer a product to this market that excels in being both sensitive and specific, the two benchmarks for accuracy in molecular diagnostics," said Dwight Egan, Co-Diagnostics CEO.
LAUNCH OF CORONAVIRUS TEST: Last week, Co-Diagnostics had announced that its research use only CoPrimer test for the 2019-nCoV coronavirus was ready for sale to appropriate laboratories, hospitals, and institutions in need of a solution to the current coronavirus epidemic.
"Increased specificity is one of the hallmarks of tests built using our patented CoPrimer platform. Leveraging our proprietary design process and software has allowed us to quickly move this product from design into commercialization, and to do so with the confidence that our high-quality product meets our goal of providing an effective, much-needed global diagnostic solution in an emergency situation. […] We are already in communication with the FDA regarding clearance of our 2019-nCoV test on an emergency use basis. If approved, it will allow us to commercialize the test as an IVD, reaching even more markets affected by this disease. We are also pursuing a CE marking for the European Union and any country or jurisdiction that allows registration of IVD products that bear a valid CE marking, as well as emergency use clearance in India for our manufacturing joint venture in that country," said Egan at that time.
Co-Diagnostics' shares had jumped last month after the company announced the successful initial verification of its screening test designed to identify the presence of the novel coronavirus that originated in China. This came less than two weeks after Co-Diagnostics announced that it had completed principle design work for a PCR screening test for new coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, intended to address potential need for detection of the virus.
REGISTERED DIRECT OFFERING: Back on January 24, Co-Diagnostics announced that it entered into definitive agreements with institutional investors for the purchase of 3,448,278 shares of its common stock, at a purchase price per share of $1.45, in a registered direct offering priced at-the-marked under the Nasdaq rules. The gross proceeds to the company, before deducting placement agent fees and other offering expenses, were expected to be approximately $5M. Co-Diagnostics intends to use the net proceeds from this offering for further commercialization and expansion of its infectious disease testing, agrigenomics, and vector control verticals, acceleration of sales and technology licensing activities, ongoing development of additional applications for its technology in markets related to liquid biopsy and next-generation sequencing, and for working capital and other general corporate purposes.
CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK: World Health Organization officials are concerned about new coronavirus cases confirmed in France and the U.K. that were transmitted without any travel history to China, according to CNBC. Five British citizens contracted the virus in the French Alpine town of Contamines-Montjoie, health authorities said, while the U.K. confirmed new cases linked to a British man who went a conference in Singapore. The respiratory disease has sickened more than 40,000 people worldwide and killed at least 910, mostly in China, the report noted.
PRICE ACTION: In afternoon trading, shares of Co-Diagnostics have gained 24% to $3.72. The stock has almost doubled since January 23, when the company first announced that it had completed principle design work for a PCR screening test for new coronavirus.