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Bruker (BRKR) FluoroType Assay Detects New SARS-CoV-2 Variants

Bruker Corporation BRKR recently launched CE-IVD certified FluoroType SARS-CoV-2 varID Q assay for simultaneous detection and differentiation between major SARS-CoV-2 virus mutations. This assay is enabled by Bruker’s proprietary LiquidArray assay format, which supports a higher degree of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) multiplexing on Fluorocycler XT system. It is validated on Bruker’s new CE-IVD approved GenoXtract fleXT system to automate nucleic acid extraction and PCR setup for 96 samples.

The FluoroType SARS-CoV-2 varID Q diagnostic test demonstrated a sensitivity of 98% and specificity of 100% during its clinical performance evaluation study.

This SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic assay offers quantification of viral load in the nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swab samples in standardized IU/ml, per WHO standards, to assess the degree of COVID infection.

More About the Assay

The FluoroType SARS-CoV-2 varID Q assay offers sensitive and robust detection, mutation differentiation and quantification of viral load simultaneously in a single PCR kit. This significantly reduces workload in laboratories and eliminates the need for a second PCR test or further RNA sequencing for strain detection. This test strategy is expected to provide public healthcare systems in Europe with a SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic assay with shorter time-to-result and lower costs than Next-Generation Sequencing for variant epidemiology.

This molecular diagnostics solution detects the SARS-CoV-2 virus using three independent gene targets while accounting for future additional mutations. It is capable of detecting and distinguishing between four major virus mutations. Their combinations determine many major variants, including the original Wuhan strain and several variants recently found in the U.K., Nigeria, South Africa, Brazil as well as Denmark.

Industry Prospects

Per a report published by Grand View Research, the global COVID-19 diagnostics market is set to witness a CAGR of 3.1% from 2021 to 2027. Factors like increasing cases of coronavirus infections, government initiatives to implement mass testing, and integration of COVID-19 tests in routine diagnostic protocols to support majorly affected industries like travel and tourism post the ease of lockdown are among the key factors driving market growth.

 

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Given substantial market prospects, this launch seems to be strategic and well timed.

Notable Developments

This month itself, Bruker launched two latest timsTOF instruments, the ultra-sensitive timsTOF SCP and the next-generation timsTOF Pro 2. The timsTOF SCP system is used for unbiased, quantitative single-cell 4D-Proteomics and neoantigen discovery in immunopeptidomics. These new innovations further leverage and facilitate new applications and methods in unbiased proteomics, epiproteomics characterization and unbiased deep multiomic biomarker discovery.

In May 2021, a clinical research collaboration on COVID-19 pheno-conversion and subsequent pheno-reversion showed that a quantitative, label-free assay platform integrating Bruker’s nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectrometry has successfully detected metabolic abnormalities associated with ongoing ‘long COVID’ symptoms. The insights from the study are anticipated to speed up recovery in patients with long COVID complications and eventually reduce healthcare costs.

Share Price Performance

The stock has rallied 83.9%, outperforming the industry’s 66.4% growth over the past year.

Zacks Rank and Key Picks

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

Some better-ranked stocks from the broader medical space include PetIQ, Inc. PETQ, Computer Programs and Systems, Inc. CPSI and National Vision Holdings, Inc. EYE.

PetIQ, currently sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), has a long-term earnings growth rate of 25%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Computer Programs and Systems, which presently carries a Zacks Rank #1, has a long-term earnings growth rate of 14%.

National Vision, which carries a Zacks Rank #1 at present, has a long-term earnings growth rate of 23%.

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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.

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