Co-Diagnostics Inc (NASDAQ:CODX), a scientific diagnostics company, has announced the first sales of its screening test which successfully identifies the deadly coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan, China last December.
The order from an undisclosed company asks for the tests to be distributed to a number of international markets and the first shipment of assays has been paid for.
Investors responded with enthusiasm to the news, sending Co-Diagnostics shares up by 38% to US$4.15 in late afternoon trade on Monday.
The Utah company’s Logix Smart 2019-nCoV polymerase chain reaction tests employ a patented CoPrimer technology platform to detect the strains of the often fatal pneumonia-like virus which has spread rapidly over the past several weeks, after first being identified in Wuhan.
The tests already work with a number of manufacturers’ PCR devices or DNA amplifiers and are available to thousands of laboratories on a research-use only basis.
“We believe the way that Co-Diagnostics can be most helpful in this ongoing situation is by providing diagnostic solutions that are affordable and accessible in any market in the world,” said Co-Diagnostics CEO Dwight Egan.
“Our mandate includes supporting as many markets as possible in a public health crisis, and taking a test from design to commercialization in under three weeks underscores this commitment,” he added.
An outbreak of the virus has spread rapidly over the past several weeks after its identification in Wuhan.
China reported 908 deaths and about 40,000 cases of coronavirus. On Sunday alone, 97 people died, the highest daily death toll since the outbreak began. Almost 6,500 of the affected patients were in critical condition, Chinese authorities said Monday.
The World Health Organization declared the novel strain of the coronavirus a global health emergency on January 30, and on February 4 the US Food and Drug Administration granted authorization for emergency use of in vitro diagnostic tests for the virus, after determining that the virus has significant enough potential to affect national security or public health.