A new test for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease that results from it is now available on the market. Healthcare technology specialist Becton, Dickinson (NYSE:BDX) announced Monday that it has been granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for an antigen test that can effectively detect the presence of the coronavirus.
The test is used in combination with the company's BD Veritor Plus System, a handheld electronic diagnostic machine. The small profile of this device makes it very portable, and thus ideal for situations where testing must occur at the many point-of-care locations now scattered throughout the country.
According to Becton, Dickinson, it is also very fast; the company says it can produce results in 15 minutes.
At the moment, according to Becton, Dickinson, the BD Veritor Plus System is in use in over 25,000 healthcare facilities within the U.S. It is used to test for illnesses such as flu.
"This will be a game-changer for frontline healthcare workers and their patients to be able to access a quick diagnostic test for COVID-19, offering results in real-time at convenient locations like retail pharmacies, urgent care centers and doctors' offices," Becton, Dickinson said in the press release trumpeting the FDA's authorization.
The company said that it can quickly ramp up production to make 2 million coronavirus tests per week by the end of September. Prior to that, it believes it can pump out 10 million tests between now and that time.
Investors greeted the news by pushing Becton, Dickinson's share price up by 2.2% on Monday. That slightly outpaced the gains recorded by the major stock indexes on the day.