Shares of molecular diagnostics company Co-Diagnostics (CODX 4.47%) jumped 24% Thursday after the company reported a surge in demand for its tests for COVID-19. The wave of orders came following an announcement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last weekend that opened the door for labs to use the diagnostic tests they've developed before those tests get formal approval from the agency.
The change in FDA policy allows laboratories to use tests after in-house validation, and Co-Diagnostics said that it's receiving requests from U.S. clinical laboratories for reagents in preparation for patient testing. CEO Dwight Egan says his company is now manufacturing and shipping coronavirus products to countries on four continents, and it plans to triple its total manufacturing capacity for this test by bringing its facility in India into the effort.
Co-Diagnostics stock has been on a wild ride recently as investors have scrambled to buy into companies that have opportunities to profit from fighting the COVID-19 epidemic. Shares of the company soared almost five-fold in the last two weeks and are up by more than 1,400% in 2020, making it one of the biggest winners from the outbreak.
However, the Utah-based company has been rather tight-lipped about actual financial results related to its coronavirus products, and it continues to take advantage of the rising stock price by issuing new shares for direct placement with its investors. Co-Diagnostics raised $4.2 million in a direct offering of common stock this week, after raising $10.2 million on Feb. 13 and $5 million on Jan. 28.