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Genedrive rockets as it says coronavirus test could be available in eight weeks

The diagnostics firm is also working on a second product that will allow coronavirus testing outside of hospitals in places such as clinics and ICUs

Genedrive PLC - Genedrive rockets as it says coronavirus test could be available in eight weeks

Genedrive PLC (LON:GDR) shares rocketed on Wednesday as the company said a clinically validated high throughput format for its coronavirus test could be available in “approximately eight weeks”.

In a trading update, the diagnostics firm said following discussions with suppliers it believed it could “quickly” ramp up production of its 96 SARS-COV-2 test, which can determine whether someone is infected with coronavirus, to over 10,000 tests per hour, making the product “a material revenue generator for the company and significant contributor to addressing the global pandemic”.

As the test is freeze dried, it requires no refrigeration and is easier to transport, which the company said provides it with a “significant logistical advantage for rapid shipment and global distribution”.

Genedrive is also developing a second SARS-COV-2 test which it says will allow testing outside of a hospital environment in places such as clinics and intensive care units where rapid results are required.

“It is a critical time for our industry's expertise to contribute towards testing and treatment of the Coronavirus pandemic. Our novel experience in developing molecular assays, the rapid workflows we can achieve with Genedrive compared to centralised testing, and our scalable manufacturing capability give the Company an opportunity to contribute very significantly to the global crisis”, the group's chief executive David Budd said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the company reported that it has received confirmation that a long-term supply contract will be agreed with the US Department of Defense (DoD) for pathogen detection that will enable ordering from Autumn this year, however, sales of its HCV ID kit and Antibiotic Induced Hearing Loss (AIHL) test were expected to see “some disruption” as healthcare providers focused their resources on the coronavirus pandemic.

Looking ahead, Genedrive said based on sales to date and purchase orders in hand, it expected to report revenues for the year ended 30 June of around £1mln, however, it said it was pursuing “a number of attractive commercial opportunities which could make a significant difference to the year-end revenue outcome”, although the coronavirus outbreak meant the risks associated with these had “inevitably increased markedly”.

Based on these assumptions, the company said it has a cash runway of 6-9 months, excluding any funding or additional revenues from HCV, AIHL and the SARS-COV-2 tests.

“With the current cash runway, the improving visibility of revenues from the DoD and the re-allocation of resources towards validating a commercial ready SARS-COV-2 assay, Genedrive can navigate the next few months and potentially make a significant contribution to the fight against [coronavirus] whilst also continuing to progress its other commercial opportunities”, Genedrive added.

Shares in Genedrive soared 77.8% higher to 16p in early deals.

Quick facts: Genedrive PLC

Price: 110 GBX

Market: AIM
Market Cap: £69.61 m

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