BDX – BD (BDX), Scanwell Health Collaborate on At-Home Coronavirus Test

Becton, Dickinson and Company (BDX Free Report) or BD has recently collaborated with Scanwell Health, a renowned name in smartphone-enabled at-home medical tests. The partnership is aimed at creating an at-home rapid test for SARS-CoV-2 using BD’s antigen test and the Scanwell Health mobile app.

Per BD’s management, this collaboration to develop an at-home lateral flow rapid antigen test is a complementary solution to its BD Veritor system. Notably, the BD Veritor Plus System for Rapid Detection of SARS-CoV-2 Assay has received the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization (“EUA”) for being used by authorized laboratories.

The latest test is expected to be a meaningful addition to BD’s fight against the global pandemic, thereby boosting the company’s Life Sciences business worldwide.

Rationale Behind the Partnership

Per BD’s management, testing for infections before stepping out in public can prove to be a critical safeguard to prevent the spread of the pandemic. The collaboration is expected to lead to a reliable test with a convenient and simple user experience.

BD plans to produce a lateral flow antigen test and pair it with the Scanwell Health mobile app as part of the announced tie-up. The app is expected to provide stepwise instructions on sample collection and use the mobile device’s camera to analyze and interpret results. Further, the companies are planning to develop functionality which will aid in automated reporting to public health agencies. This approach is intended to provide an efficient and scalable rapid antigen home testing solution.

Industry Prospects

Per a report published on Research And Markets, the global rapid test kit market was valued at $23.44 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of approximately 8.1% by 2026. Factors like the unrelenting spread of the pandemic and the growing prevalence of various infectious diseases are expected to drive the market.

Given the market potential, the partnership seems to have been timed well.

Recent Developments in Life Sciences

Of late, BD has been witnessing a few developments in this business arm.

The company, this month, announced the receipt of the FDA’s EUA for a new molecular diagnostic test for both SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza A+B that can provide results in a few hours. Notably, the test has also received the CE Mark approval.

BD, during its first-quarter fiscal 2021 earnings call this month, confirmed strength in Diagnostic Systems revenues within the United States on the back of frequent COVID-19 testing. Further, the company continues to see solid demand for its product portfolio that supports the global COVID-19 response efforts.

The company announced the publication of a peer-reviewed study in January this year which demonstrates that BD’s antigen test may be more selective than polymerase chain reaction molecular tests at detecting people who are contagious and capable of spreading COVID-19.

Price Performance

Shares of the company have lost 1.8% in the past year compared with the industry and S&P 500’s 18.1% and 23.3% growth, respectively.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Currently, BD carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks from the broader medical space are Hologic, Inc. (HOLX Free Report) , IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. (IDXX Free Report) and Abbott Laboratories (ABT Free Report) .

Hologic’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 15.4%. The company presently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

IDEXX’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 15.8%. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2.

Abbott’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 14.1%. The company presently carries a Zacks Rank #2.

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