Healthcare Business

What Becton Dickinson Brings to the Fight Against COVID-19

Chris Lange

Becton, Dickinson and Co. (NYSE: BDX), or BD, is officially throwing its hat in the ring to fight COVID-19. Specifically, this firm is working on the front end by testing for the disease and antibodies that have been built up in response.

Testing for the coronavirus has become a lucrative field. A couple of other coronavirus stocks that are specifically dealing with the testing aspect are Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE: DGX) and Co-Diagnostics Inc. (NASDAQ: CODX). Each of these companies has seen massive gains since they have entered the ring, and Co-Diagnostics is no longer a penny stock.

BD’s test is for something slightly different from just merely detecting the novel coronavirus, like these other companies already have done. The firm announced the release of a new point-of-care test that can detect antibodies in blood to confirm current or past exposure to COVID-19 in as little as 15 minutes.

The test does not require special equipment and may be used in a laboratory or at the point of care. The test detects antibodies in the blood that are produced by the body in response to coronavirus infection. These antibodies are typically present in the middle to later stages of COVID-19 infection but may remain present after exposure, which helps clinicians determine who has been exposed to the coronavirus, even if a person didn’t exhibit any symptoms of the disease.

Data on past exposure is important for researchers to understand more accurately the likely true occurrence of SARS-CoV-2 infection across a population. This information will be helpful in informing future strategies for combatting COVID-19.

Dave Hickey, president of Integrated Diagnostic Solutions for BD, commented:

Serology tests are important because they provide an additional piece of information to aid in characterizing possible prior exposure to SARS-CoV-2, especially since many infections are mild or asymptomatic in severity. Initial evidence suggests that nearly all patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 will have developed a detectable antibody response within days of symptom onset, at which time a negative serologic test, along with molecular diagnostics, could be helpful in ruling out COVID-19. Our agreement with BioMedomics adds a rapid serology test that can augment current tests already on the market, and we are pleased to collaborate in this effort with Henry Schein, which has extensive knowledge of the point-of-care test field.

Becton Dickinson stock traded down less than 1% to $228.38 on Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $197.75 to $286.72. The consensus price target is $270.62.

Quest Diagnostics stock was down about 6%, at $75.50 in a 52-week range of $73.21 to $118.58. The consensus price target is $106.54.

Co-Diagnostics stock traded down about 5% to $7.25, in a 52-week range of $0.69 to $21.75. The consensus price target is $19.00.