Abaxis Develops New Veterinary Test - Analyst Blog

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Abaxis Veterinary Reference Laboratories (AVRL ) Division of Abaxis , Inc. ( ABAX">ABAX ) recently announced the development of a quantitative antibody test for canine Lyme disease. The new canine Lyme test, based on advanced peptide chemistry and immunology, assesses a combination of antibodies that are not found in vaccinated or non-infected patients.

The new test possesses the ability of differentiating an active Lyme infection from immunity based on vaccination and provides proper diagnosis required for reference laboratory performed confirmation test.

Abaxis expects this new test to perform as an individual diagnostic test to determine the severity of the infection and provide proper treatment. The company also believes that this test can be utilized as a quantitative confirmation test for the company'sVetScan Lyme Rapid Test, which is currently in pipeline.

Earlier this month,Abaxis expanded its rapid diagnostics product line with the inclusion of a feline heartworm rapid test. Also, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved the company'sVetScan Canine Heartworm Antigen Test for use in feline applications.

For the past few quarters, the company has been expanding its product portfolio by introducing several products with primary focus on the rapid test portfolio. This is reflected in the robust revenue growth in the company'sVetScan Rapid Test line ($2.1 million, up 46% year over year) during the last reported quarter. We expect the company'sVetScan VS2 blood chemistry analyzer to continue to grab market share in the veterinary market.

However, the company's margins continue to disappoint owing to several challenges. We also remain apprehensive based onAbaxis' dependency on distributors to sell its products and increased legal expenses. Besides, the presence of many big players like Alere ( ALR">ALR ) andIdexx Laboratories has made the human and veterinary diagnostic market highly competitive. Furthermore, soft international market is also aheadwind forAbaxis .

Currently,Abaxis carries aZacks #3 Rank (short-term Hold rating), which also corresponds to our long-term 'Neutral' recommendation on the stock.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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