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Bruker (BRKR) Launches PCR Panel, Expands Testing Portfolio

Bruker Corporation BRKR recently launched the CE-IVD labelled FluoroType SARS-CoV-2/Flu/RSV winter four-plex polymerase chain reaction (“PCR”) panel in Europe. The panel enables the sensitive and simultaneous detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, both influenza A and B viruses and the respiratory syncytial virus (“RSV”).

Notably, the panel has been validated for nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs as well as for saliva samples. Further, the winter four-plex PCR panel has demonstrated high sensitivity and specificity from various collected samples.

For investors’ note, the FluoroType SARS-CoV-2/Flu/RSV panel can be used with the company’s FluoroCycler XT real-time PCR system as well as with other common real-time thermocyclers (an automated laboratory apparatus which is used to amplify specific segments of double-stranded nucleic acids extracted from a clinical sample via the PCR process). It is validated for use on the company’s GenoXtract automated nucleic acid extraction devices with associated RNA extraction kits and for QIAGEN N.V.’s QGEN extraction chemistry. It is also validated for use for the saliva workflow without RNA extraction.

Further, it should be noted that QIAGEN had announced the CE-IVD mark and the European launch of the NeuMoDx Flu A-B/RSV/SARS-CoV-2 Vantage Test to identify influenzas A and B, RSV and SARS-CoV-2 infections in November.

With the latest test launch, Bruker aims to expand its Microbiology & Diagnostics business, thus strengthening its foothold in the global PCR testing arena. This is expected to significantly boost the company’s Daltonics arm of the CALID Group on a global scale.

Significance of the Launch

Per a medical personnel associated with PCR testing, Bruker´s FluoroType SARS-CoV-2 plus assay has been the standard for COVID-19 testing. However, with an increased incidence of influenza infections during the winter season, the differentiation of multiple respiratory viruses in one test was required to avoid additional workload or costs. In this regard, the FluoroType SARS-CoV-2/Flu/RSV panel has been performing quite well, thus paving the way for its robust adoption for testing.

Per management, the company’s clinical laboratory customers will now have the option of offering saliva workflow for patient convenience, faster time-to-result along with lesser resource requirements without RNA extraction. Further, saliva PCR testing is also a resource-effective tool for clinical laboratories in case of extraction kit shortages and reduced time-to-result.

The panel is expected to facilitate diagnosis and patient management, especially during the winter season, when multiple viruses need to be differentiated in one assay.

Industry Prospects

Per a report by Research And Markets, the global market for PCR is estimated to be $7.8 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $11 billion by 2027 at a CAGR of 5%. Factors like the unrelenting spread of the pandemic and PCR testing being the gold standard in coronavirus testing, and the need for early detection of chronic diseases are expected to drive the market.

Given the market potential, the launch of the multiplex PCR test and label expansion is expected to significantly boost QIAGEN’s business on a global scale.

Recent Developments

Of late, Bruker has been witnessing a slew of developments across its business.

The company, in October, launched the Vutara VXL Super-Resolution Fluorescence Microscope for nanoscale biological imaging. The same month, Bruker announced the European launch of the next-generation 80 MHz Fourier Transform Nuclear Magnetic Resonance benchtop spectrometer, Fourier 80 system, which is equipped with major new capabilities.

Further in October, the company released PaSER, which is a complete GPU-based device enabling proteomics database search in real time and builds upon the Integrated Proteomics Pipeline (IP2) software acquisition. Notably, the acquisition of the IP2 search engine and proteomics workflow software platform was announced in September.

Bruker, in September, also announced the acquisition of renowned high-multiplex biomarker imaging for immunology, immuno-oncology and cell therapy player, Canopy Biosciences, LLC.

Price Performance

Shares of the company have gained 7.2% in the past year compared with the industry’s 25.9% rise and S&P 500’s 17.2% growth.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Currently, Bruker carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some other better-ranked stocks from the broader medical space are ResMed Inc. RMD and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. TMO.

ResMed’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 14.5%. The company presently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Thermo Fisher’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 18%. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2.

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