Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings or LabCorp LH has come up with a new coronavirus-related development with the latest neutralizing antibody test launch. This test can be used to assess the capacity of antibodies in patient plasma to inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 virus that is responsible for COVID-19.
Going by a ScienceDirect journal, neutralizing antibodies not only bind to a virus, they bind in a manner that blocks infection.
The result of this neutralizing antibody test can be used for the development of COVID-19 vaccines and the screening of convalescent plasma for prophylactic and therapeutic use. This test will be available to biopharmaceutical companies, hospitals, blood banks and other plasma-screening facilities.
According to LabCorp, this test will help in accelerating the assessment of vaccine candidates so that a successful candidate is discovered soon. The company also added that, with the progress in COVID-19 vaccine related research, some clinicians are relying on the serum collected from convalescent patients who had COVID-19 to support treatment of the critically ill patients.
Considering the increasing number of coronavirus cases of late, the latest launch within LabCorp’s Covance Drug Development Business is expected to see huge demand.
LabCorp's Response to COVID-19
In June, the Covance Drug Development business came up with a website aimed at connecting patients with all COVID-19 clinical trials. Named as ‘COVID-19 Clinical Trial Connect’, this website helps all novel coronavirus patients acquire adequate information related to suitable clinical trials run by Covance on behalf of a biopharmaceutical company, as well as those listed on clinicaltrials.gov.
LabCorp is also benefiting from collaborations with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies with whom it started work on potential antivirals, treatments and vaccines. Among the collaborations, the alliance with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics to test an antiviral drug is significant.
Further, the Covance business is also working with companies like Adaptive Biotechnologies and Microsoft to focus on immune response to the virus. Separately, it is also working with Pacific Bioscience on unique research programs on virus characteristics that can support patient treatment decisions. Meanwhile, the company has launched its patient registry with Ciox Health that will enable researchers to better understand and characterize COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment and generate insights that aid ongoing and future pandemic preparedness and prevention efforts.
The newly launched neutralizing antibody test can be considered a boost to LabCorp’s Covance business and will enable it to progress with its clinical trials seamlessly.
Year-to-date, shares of LabCorp have declined 4.6% compared with the industry’s 4.2% fall.
Zacks Rank & Other Key Picks
LabCorp currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
A few other top-ranked stocks from the broader medical space are Quest Diagnostics Incorporated DGX, Hologic, Inc. HOLX and QIAGEN N.V. QGEN.
Quest Diagnostics’ long-term earnings growth rate is projected at 7.6%. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Hologic’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 7%. The company presently has a Zacks Rank #2.
QIAGEN’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 12.2%. It currently sports a Zacks Rank #1.
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