Opko Health OPK Stock News

OPKO Health Inc. (NASDAQ: OPK) is having an incredibly strong start to the trading session this morning, up 20% so far today. The gains follow up on the 24.1% gains that we saw yesterday after the company announced that it has joined the effort to fight the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus. Here’s what’s going on.

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OPK Stock Climbs On Coronavirus News

In the release, OPKO Health said that its subsidiary, BioReference Laboratories, will offer a test for the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

OPK said that Bioreference should start receiving specimins for testing shortly. This testing will begin next week. The company said that with an extensive network of patient service centers and a national logistics network, BioReference will provide expanded access to testing for the virus across the United States.

Importantly, in the release, the company said that it has collaborated with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and others. The goal of these collaborations is to help indentify and develop diagnostic tests for emerging infectious diseases.

In a statement, Jon R. Cohen, M.D., Executive Chairman at the OPK subsidiary, BioReference, had the following to offer:

COVID-19 testing is imperative in aiding front-line healthcare professionals and public health authorities to identify infected patients more quickly, limit the spread of infection and promote earlier diagnosis and treatment. We want to specifically recognize how engaged and responsive HHS, the CDC and the FDA have been in helping us navigate quickly through the scientific and regulatory issues necessary to make testing available as soon as possible to the U.S. population.

Why This News Is So Huge

As we know, the coronavirus is an epidemic and is quickly growing to pandemic proportions. As with any illness, the first step toward treatment or prevention is having the ability to properly identify the condition. That’s where OPKO Health comes in.

While there are several companies working on diagnostics, vaccines, treatments and more, few companies have actually announced anything of substance. With the announcement that testing will begin next week, OPK joins the ranks of those few companies.

Should all go well and the COVID-19 diagnostic testing prove to be accurate here, the company could quickly become the go-to option for diagnostics in the space. With expectations that the coronavirus will soon spread across the United States, OPK has the right product at the right time and could see tremendous revenue growth as a result.

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