Abbott Laboratories said it has launched its third coronavirus test, a blood test that can determine whether or not a person has been infected by the disease.
The Illinois-based pharmaceutical firm said the check helps identify disease-fighting antibodies in people who have been infected but may have just had mild symptoms or none at all.
The company is on track to ship four million tests this month of its new antibody tests, and plans to ramp this up to 20 million shipments per month in June.
Abbott chief executive Robert Ford said: “It’s clear that the demand for testing is big, it’s not going to go away.”
Abbott shares lifted more than 5% on Thursday afternoon trading after the business reported first-quarter earnings and revenue that beat Wall Street’s expectations. The firm has gained 10% this year, while the S&P500 has fallen 13.5% in 2020.
The company’s net earnings fell to $564m, or 31 cents per share, in the quarter ended March 31, from $672m, or 38 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenues lifted 2.5% in the quarter at $7.7bn.
Abbott’s recent introduction of three diagnostic tests for coronavirus has fueled investors’ interest in the company. However, it suspended its full-year guidance, citing uncertainty surrounding the health emergency, which has infected more than two million people worldwide and killed at least 139,419 as of Thursday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Founded in 1888, Abbott Laboratories produces consumer health and nutrition brands including Pedialyte, Similac, Ensure, and Glucerna. It also manufacturers medical devices and diagnostic equipment, including the Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 test (pictured), which obtained FDA emergency use approval.
US President Donald Trump has cheered the introduction of this device, calling it potential game-changer in the global fight against the virus.