) moved higher, thanks to the approval received by the company
from Health Canada to use Aptima HPV assay in its fully automated
Panther system. The shares gained marginally by 0.24% to close at
$21.16 on Nov 15.
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The Aptima HPV test can be now performed with Hologic's ThinPrep
liquid cytology specimen and can be implemented before or after
it has been processed for cytology testing on the ThinPrep 2000
system. The Aptima HPV mRNA based assay is a nucleic acid
amplification nucleic acid amplification test which is designed
to identify 14 high-risk strains of human papillomavirus (HPV)
mostly seen in cervical cancer specimens as well as precancerous
The availability of the new assay is expected to be beneficial
for Canadian women as lot of women are affected by this disease
Research on female cancer has shown that cervical cancer is one
of the most common types of cancer inflicting women worldwide. It
has also been found that more than 99% of all cervical cancers
are caused due to the Human papillomavirus (HPV). Under such
circumstances, HPV testing is the only way to detect the presence
of high-risk type of HPV in a woman's cervix.
As immunization is available only against two common types of
high-risk HPV (types 16 and 18), regular cervical screening using
the Aptima HPV is believed to be extremely helpful to combat the
potential risk of this fatal disease in women. Cervical screening
combined with immunization can provide an effective shield
against cervical cancer.
On Jun 23, 2013, Hologic had declared receipt of the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the Aptima HPV assay
for use on the company's fully-automated Panther system. The
device has the CE mark necessary for its commercial use in the
European Union and is also currently in use in several other
Asian as well as African countries.
The PANTHER System is a renowned automation solution designed for
a wide range of laboratory tests. Recently, Hologic's APTIMA
Trichomonas vaginalis assay also received the FDA approval and
was included for use on the Panther System.
The continuous expansion of such available assays, especially the
high value ones, complements Hologic's strategy to boost revenues
in its laboratory business. This new addition will also enable
laboratories to conduct multiple tests from a single specimen
using the company's automated molecular testing platform.
Other Hologic diagnostic tests that have been cleared by Health
Canada include the Aptima Combo 2 assay for chlamydia and
Currently, Hologic carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). While
we chose to stay away from this stock at present, some
better-performing medical instrument stocks that are worth a look
) carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and E
cho Therapeutics, Inc.
) sports a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).