Pandemic Emergency: Rapid Screening Tests Struggling to Keep up with Rising Demand

With states, schools, and businesses looking to reopen, demand for rapid CV-19 screening tests are rising. While the Trump Administration hopes to have 20 million rapid and point-of-care tests available by the end of September 2020, reports Politico, some health experts say the U.S. needs as many as 25 million tests by October just to ensure safe operation of schools, businesses, states, and health facilities. “States, which have spent months scrambling for protective equipment and testing supplies on the open market, are now competing for the rapid tests.” With demand only likely to increase, some of the top companies to watch on such news include XPhyto Therapeutics Corp. (CSE:XPHY)(OTC:XPHYF), Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT), Becton Dickinson and Co. (NYSE:BDX), Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE:TMO), and Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings (NYSE:LH).

XPhyto Therapeutics Corp. (CSE:XPHY)(OTC:XPHYF) BREAKING NEWS: XPhyto Therapeutics Corp., a next generation bioscience company, is pleased to announce an update on its rapid COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) screening test.

XPhyto and its exclusive diagnostic partner, 3a-Diagnostics GmbH (“3a”), are developing a rapid, disposable, point-of-care lateral flow screening test to detect COVID-19 viral RNA from patient saliva samples and nasal and throat swabs. On July 6, 2020, the Company announced successful validation of its working prototype to concurrently and independently detect both the COVID-19 virus and all viruses in the coronavirus family (including SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV). On August 10, 2020, the Company announced commercial milestones targeting European regulatory approval in Q1 2021.

3a has recently taken possession of COVID-19 genome samples (reference RNA) for its second round of proof of concept prototype testing. This evaluation process is currently underway and results are expected within 30 days. Pending successful evaluation results the Company will proceed to advanced prototype production and usability testing scheduled for Q4 2020. Test development and optimization is proceeding on an expedited basis at 3a’s research lab and in collaboration with third party contractors and academic partners in Germany.

XPhyto and 3a are developing rapid screening tests for COVID-19 and other high-risk pandemic threats, including H1N1 (swine flu) and H5N1 (avian flu), with a specific focus on early pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic stages of infection. H1N1 and H5N1 development programs are currently funded through grants from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The Company’s screening tests include lateral flow assay type tests as well as next-generation biosensors delivered via XPhyto’s oral dissolvable drug delivery platform. The product pipeline is comprised exclusively of next generation rapid, low-cost, easy-to-use, saliva-based screening tools that can be self-administered, making them ideal for decentralized population scale screening.

The Company is not making any express or implied claims that its product has the ability to eliminate, cure or contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other related developments from around the markets include:

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for its BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Ag Card rapid test for detection of COVID-19 infection. Abbott will sell this test for $5. It is highly portable (about the size of a credit card), affordable and provides results in 15 minutes. BinaxNOW uses proven Abbott lateral flow technology, making it a reliable and familiar format for frequent mass testing through their healthcare provider. With no equipment required, the device will be an important tool to manage risk by quickly identifying infectious people so they don't spread the disease to others. Abbott will also launch a complementary mobile app for iPhone and Android devices named NAVICA™. This first-of-its-kind app, available at no charge, will allow people who test negative to display a temporary digital health pass that is renewed each time a person is tested through their healthcare provider together with the date of the test result. Organizations will be able to view and verify the information on a mobile device to facilitate entry into facilities along with hand-washing, social distancing, enhanced cleaning and mask-wearing. "We intentionally designed the BinaxNOW test and NAVICA app so we could offer a comprehensive testing solution to help Americans feel more confident about their health and lives," said Robert B. Ford, president and chief executive officer, Abbott. "BinaxNOW and the NAVICA app give us an affordable, easy-to-use, scalable test, and a complementary digital health tool to help us have a bit more normalcy in our daily lives."

Becton Dickinson and Co. (NYSE:BDX) a leading global medical technology company, reported quarterly revenues of $3.855 billion for the third fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2020.  This represents a decrease of 11.4 percent as reported from the prior-year period, or 9.4 percent on a currency-neutral basis. "During the third quarter, BD demonstrated our focus on execution and delivering results, even in this challenging environment," said Tom Polen, CEO and president of BD. "We enter the fourth quarter with encouraging trends in health care procedures in June and July. We have continued strong demand for our products that support the global COVID-19 response, including the recent launch of our COVID-19 rapid point-of-care antigen test and our partnerships with governments around the world to help prepare for national vaccination programs. BD is playing an essential role enabling the world's response to COVID-19, and I'm confident the steps we are taking now will put BD in the best possible position for the long term. We believe the diversity of our portfolio of leading technologies, the strength and scale of our manufacturing infrastructure and the passion and determination of our team make us a stronger partner for our customers and their patients at this consequential time."

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE:TMO), the world leader in serving science, officially cut the ribbon on its new $40 million facility in Lenexa, Kansas dedicated to viral transport media (VTM) production. The company is also announcing that the site will continue to expand to meet expected sustained demand for COVID-19 testing. The facility has created more than 300 new full-time jobs and added 120,000 square feet of manufacturing capacity. In early May, Thermo Fisher received a contract from the U.S. government to provide a significant quantity of highly specialized VTM for COVID-19 sample collection. VTM is dispensed into plastic tubes that are used to safely collect and transport clinical specimens containing viruses. This ensures that the sample collected from a COVID-19 nose swab maintains viability while it is shipped to a lab for testing. Thermo Fisher has responded quickly to meet increased demand for VTM by ramping up production in Lenexa from 50,000 units per week to now more than 8 million per week since the new facility began production in early July. "Thermo Fisher is proud to support virtually every aspect of the global COVID-19 response and our colleagues in Lenexa have played a key role in those efforts," said Gianluca Pettiti, senior vice president and president of the company's Specialty Diagnostics business. "Thanks to their hard work, Lenexa significantly increased production of VTM units. The team has worked with unrelenting intensity to build out and open a new site in just about six weeks. They understood the urgent national need, accepted the challenge and have delivered for the American people."

Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings (NYSE:LH) announced that members of the executive management team will participate in a virtual fireside chat at the Baird’s 2020 Global Healthcare Conference on Wednesday, Sept. 9 at 11:25 a.m. ET.

Legal Disclaimer / Except for the historical information presented herein, matters discussed in this article contains forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. Winning Media is not registered with any financial or securities regulatory authority and does not provide nor claims to provide investment advice or recommendations to readers of this release. For making specific investment decisions, readers should seek their own advice. Winning Media is only compensated for its services in the form of cash-based compensation. Pursuant to an agreement Winning Media has been paid three thousand five hundred dollars for advertising and marketing services for XPhyto Therapeutics Corp. by a third party. We own ZERO shares of XPhyto Therapeutics Corp. Please click here for full disclaimer.

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