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Biotron share price rockets higher on coronavirus testing news

James Mickleboro
laboratory testing medical health

One of the best performers on the ASX on Thursday has been the Biotron Limited (ASX: BIT) share price.

In morning trade the clinical stage biotechnology company’s shares rocketed 28% higher to 10.5 cents.

They have since pulled back a touch, but are still up 17% to 9.6 cents at the time of writing.

Why is the Biotron share price rocketing higher?

Biotron is engaged in the research, development, and commercialisation of drugs targeting significant viral diseases with unmet medical need.

It has several early stage programs designing drugs that target a class of virus protein known as viroporins. These play a key role in the virus life cycle of a very broad range of viruses, many of which have caused worldwide health issues such as Dengue, Ebola, Middle East Respiratory virus, Influenza, Zika, and Coronavirus.

It is the latter that is getting investors excited today.

This morning Biotron announced that it is in the process of evaluating several promising compounds for activity against coronavirus. This includes the new novel strain known as 2019-nCoV.

Within its proprietary small molecule compound library, Biotron has over 30 compounds with good activity against a range of coronaviruses. These includes human coronaviruses that cause mild, cold-like symptoms, as well as the SARS coronavirus that was responsible for the outbreak of that virus in 2003.

These compounds can reduce the levels of coronavirus by 90 – 100% in infected cell cultures. Importantly, several compounds have broad-spectrum activity against multiple strains of coronaviruses.

What now?

In response to the recent coronavirus outbreak in China, Biotron is now focused on testing a select set of these compounds against the new 2019-nCoV strain.

This work will be done under contract in specialist laboratories that have access to this new virus, which has been isolated and made available for studies in recent days.

Biotron’s focus will be testing its compounds that have shown broad-spectrum activity against different coronaviruses.

All eyes will be on the results of these tests in the coming weeks or months.

The post Biotron share price rockets higher on coronavirus testing news appeared first on Motley Fool Australia.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

The Motley Fool's purpose is to help the world invest, better. Click here now for your free subscription to Take Stock, The Motley Fool's free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson. 2020