Astrotech ASTC Stock News

Astrotech Corp (NASDAQ: ASTC) recently saw dramatic gains after the company announced that it was using the same technology used for bomb sniffing machines at air ports to detect for COVID-19 through a rapid breath test. While the stock has given back some of these gains, it’s gaining more than 50% in the premarket today after announcing news surrounding its breath test. Here’s what’s going on:

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ASTC Rockets On Breath Test Confirmation

In the press release, Astrotech said that it has confirmed that its BreathTest-1000 device detects a known metabolite that is associated with lung diseases at very low parts per million.

The breath test is a lung disease screening device that ASTC is working on to provide rapid breath screening for the coronavirus, or COVID-19. If all goes well, the test will also be able to detect pneumonia.

In a statement, Thomas B. Pickens III, Chairman and CEO at ASTC, had the following to offer:

The Company just reached a milestone in its vision of providing what it believes to be a highly accurate field instrument that, subject to applicable regulatory approval, may provide lung disease testing worldwide. Today’s news is exciting because it accelerates the development process of the BreathTest-1000™ and we believe gets us closer to joining the front-line in the fight against lung diseases, such as COVID-19.

The Company was able to move quickly in the development of the BreathTest-1000™ because the core mass spectrometry technology it utilizes has been fully commercialized and deployed for explosives trace detection. Our goal is to satisfy all regulatory requirements for the BreathTest-1000™ as rapidly as possible once the necessary application developments are completed. We believe that few, if any, changes will need to be made to the underlying technology. We plan to devote our efforts towards developing a simple and consistent sample introduction system.

Why This News Is So Exciting

Sure, there are plenty of tests starting to hit the market. Opko Health (NASDAQ: OPK) and Aytu Bioscience (NASDAQ: AYTU) both have tests that are starting to be sent out to the masses. So, what is so special about Astrotech?

The answer is simple. First and foremost, most tests out there require samples to be sent to the lab, ultimately delaying results. The faster results can be seen, the better control that we will have over this pandemic.

Moreover, while AYTU does have a rapid test, its test is nothing like what we see from ASTC. The rapid test by AYTU requires blood to be tested while the BreathTest-1000 detects coronavirus in the consumers breath.

Considering this, if successful, their test can be quickly sent to air ports, schools, storefronts and more in order to start testing the masses and protect consumers from the spread of COVID-19. All in all, if this test is successful and can hit the market quickly, it could become the leading option in COVID-19 diagnostics.

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