Shares of T2 Biosystems (TTOO -2.75%) jumped on Friday after the healthcare diagnostics specialist said its testing panel could detect the new strain of the coronavirus first identified in Brazil. As of 3:35 p.m. EST, its stock price was up more than 30%.
T2 Biosystems has now confirmed that its T2SARS-CoV-2 Panel can detect many different coronavirus strains, including the variants first identified in the U.K., South Africa, and Brazil. A recent evaluation of more than 42,000 genome sequences for the novel coronavirus showed that T2 Biosystems' panel should detect 99.99% of all currently identified SARS-CoV-2 viruses.
"We continue to actively monitor new variants of the COVID-19 virus to confirm that our technology remains a useful and reliable diagnostic tool for the many healthcare systems and people that need it during this time," T2 Biosystems CEO John Sperzel said in a press release.
The T2SARS-CoV-2 Panel has demonstrated clinical sensitivity -- essentially, the ability of the test to correctly identify the people who have the disease -- of 95%. Additionally, the panel has demonstrated specificity -- the ability of the test to correctly identify those who do not have the disease -- of 100%. Better still, test results can be obtained in less than two hours using nasal swab samples.
It will be vital for healthcare workers to have the ability to accurately and reliably detect new mutations of the coronavirus if we are to ever bring about an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. T2 Biosystems could play a key role in this area.
However, it's important to note that competition is intensifying in the coronavirus diagnostic market, and T2 Biosystems' challengers include industry giants like Abbott Laboratories and Roche. There will likely be room for several diagnostic test suppliers in this massive market, but as a far smaller company, T2 Biosystems' stock is a riskier investment than those of its larger rivals.