New York City, Oct. 15, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Co-Diagnostics Plans Product Launch for Emerging Mosquito Threat EEE Virus as Demand Grows
New York City, New York – News yesterday from Co-Diagnostics, Inc. (Nasdaq: CODX), a biotech with a patented platform for the development of molecular diagnostic tests that has been making a name for itself in the vector control industry, included the announcement that its test for eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) will be ready in time for the upcoming mosquito season in 2020.
According to yesterday’s release and other press on the subject, the test currently under development appears to be similar to the company’s Vector Smart NAM-w test, which looks for West Nile virus (WNV), St. Louis encephalitis, and western equine encephalitis (WEE) in mosquito populations, but will identify the EEE virus instead of WEE. When their initial NAM-w product launched on July 11, CODX became one of the hottest tickers of the day and traded up 44% on substantial volume.
Co-Diagnostics’ news last week relating to the launch of their Vector Smart ZDC multiplex test, for which sales have already begun, encouraged H.C. Wainwright to reiterate their Buy rating with a price target of $2.00. That product was described as being created “following requests from mosquito abatement districts and ministries of health…for a test that can accurately identify Zika, dengue and chikungunya, but which is tailored specifically for mosquito populations.” Based on the unexpected uptick in cases of EEE in 2019 (30, compared to an average of 7 or so) and 11 deaths so far, it seems safe to say that Co-Diagnostics is extending that approach with the development of this test.
EEE is a rare neurological disease that kills roughly one-third of those infected, as is sadly borne out in this year’s statistics, and leaves a high percentage of survivors with “mild to severe brain damage” according to the CDC. Cases in 2019 were reported all along the Eastern seaboard and as far west as Michigan. Although the 2019 mosquito season is winding down, the company’s current marketing push and plans to launch their EEE test in advance of the 2020 season appears driven by market demand, and their belief that testing mosquito populations directly is one of the primary lines of defense against the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses.
Few if any diagnostics companies have approached the mosquito abatement market so directly. And unlike in vitro diagnostics for humans, testing mosquito populations requires no regulatory approval by the FDA. This makes for an enticing combination of minimal competition, relatively straightforward pathway to domestic revenue, and a business model that they have quickly shown to be viable with sales of mosquito tests and abatement equipment packages beginning earlier this year. If the interest shown by analysts and followers of the stock is any indication, the launch of their EEE test should portend great things for this Utah-based medtech company.
Disclosure: Co-Diagnostics Inc is a client of BDA International.
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