BD’s Covid-19-Flu Combo Test Wins European Clearance

Becton, Dickinson and Co. announced on Wednesday that its diagnostic test kit for both flu and Covid-19 detection has been cleared by European regulatory authorities.

BD (BDX) said that the Viasure SARS-CoV-2 real time detection kit developed by CerTest Biotec, has received the European CE Mark. The kit allows BD MAX system users to run a single module that tests concurrently for Covid-19, influenza (flu) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). The BD MAX System, a molecular diagnostic platform, is used in hundreds of laboratories across Europe. Each unit can return results in two to three hours and has the capacity to analyze hundreds of samples over a 24-hour period.

“Together with CerTest, we can offer our customers in Europe a complete solution for Covid-19 diagnostics during the winter season,” said BD’s Nikos Pavlidis. “By leveraging our significant installed base and the versatility of the BD MAX System, this test will greatly enhance capacity for SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza testing, enabling clinicians to rapidly diagnose patients and help reduce the spread of Covid-19.”

BD added that Viasure test kits are not available for sale in the US. The CE Mark approval comes as BD last month announced that its rapid, point-of-care, SARS-CoV-2 antigen test was granted European regulatory approval. As a result, the US medical device maker expects the test to be commercially available at the end of October.

Shares in BDX are currently down 13% year-to-date, and analysts have a cautiously optimistic take on the stock’s outlook. The Moderate Buy consensus splits into 4 Buys versus 3 Holds. Looking ahead, the average analyst price target of $274.83 indicates 16% upside potential lies ahead.

Earlier this month, Goldman Sachs analyst Amit Hazan added the stock to the firm’s Conviction Buy list and raised the price target to $279 from $278.

Hazan views the stock’s underperformance over the past 12 months as an “improved buying opportunity that we don’t often see”. (See BDX stock analysis on TipRanks).

The analyst expects “key product issues to dissipate”, while Covid-19 testing upside looks increasingly likely. In addition, he believes that a broader recovery will benefit BD’s procedure-based sales lines.

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