Opko Health OPK Stock News

Late last week, OPKO Health Inc. (NASDAQ: OPK) saw dramatic gains after announcing that it it would begin testing for COVID-19 this week. Well, the stock is continuing upward with gains over 15% early this morning as this testing is likely beginning. Here’s what’s going on:

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OPKO Stock Continues Skyward On COVID-19 Testing

One of the most important parts of putting an end to an epidemic like the Wuhan coronavirus is accurate diagnostic testing. After all, you can’t fight a condition that you can’t accurately diagnose.

Well, BioReference Laboratories, a subsidiary of OPKO Health, is working quickly to bring this testing to market. In fact, in a press release last week, OPK said that BioReference is expecting to receive specimens for testing, and begin providing tests as early as this week.

The company also pointed to its vast network of patient service centers and its national logistics network, saying that it will provide expanded access to COVID-19 testing across the United States.

Importantly, OPK partnered with the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevent, the World Health Orgainziation, and other public agencies in the development of its diagnostic tests. In a statement, Jon R. Cohen, M.D., Executive Chairman at 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.

This Isn’t Just Testing News, It’s Revenue News

Let’s be honest here, even in times of an epidemic, like what we’re seeing with COVID-19, companies that are on th leading edge of putting an end to it generate serious revenue. Considering this OPKO Health is one of these companies.

The company isn’t just saying that it’s thinking of working on a product, or that it is working on a product. In the press release, OPK said that it has a product and that the product will hit the shelves this week.

With diagnostic testing for COVID-19 beginning this week, the company is far ahead of its competitors and these tests are likely to be a large revenue driver ahead.

Now, I know that the nay sayers will say that testing is only happening in the United States and that the epicenter of the epidemic is China. But, there are a couple of things to consider here:

  • Spread To The United States – In the United States, there have already been over 500 cases of the Wuhan coronavirus diagnosed, with 22 of these cases ending in death. The truth of the matter is that this is a global epidemic and it is hitting right here at home. I know that 500 cases doesn’t sound like a lot, but experts suggest that the virus will quickly spread throughout the United States. Being here at ground zero with a diagnostic test product, OPK is only likely to see growth in demand for this testing in the United States.
  • International Commercialization Is Likely – While the company didn’t say that it would be making its COVID-19 diagnostic testing available globally, that’s the likely next step. After all, if you had a product that was likely to be met with high demand and you were based in the United States, you would start commercializing at home and look for international opportunities. That’s likely what OPK is doing here, and when those international opportunities arrise, they will likely serve as catalysts sending the stock higher.

All in all, OPK is in the right place at the right time, and its investors are likely to benefit greatly!

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