The Abbott RealTime ZIKA molecular test from Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) has gained the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is the first molecular test from a commercial manufacturer to be authorized and will be used to detect Zika in whole blood samples and particularly during emergencies. The approval comes at a timely moment when the Zika virus is becoming a significant enduring challenge to the public health. However, the test will now facilitate its detection at higher levels of blood samples other than just the serum and urine sample types.
In appreciation of the significant milestone by Abbott, the company’s divisional vice president, John Hackett says, “Abbott’s molecular test may provide the ability to identify the active virus over a longer time period with whole blood and could provide a more accurate diagnosis. Our test can also distinguish Zika from other viruses such as dengue or chikungunya.”
The RealTime ZIKA molecular test will help doctors make informed decisions
There has been misdiagnosis as a result of lack of information on various illnesses. There are currently more than 4,800 people living with Zika in the US while another 35,000 are living in U.S. territories. The main culprits are in Puerto Rico. However, Hackett is of the opinion that the availability of the test will help the medical professional make the correct diagnosis. The test is highly sensitive to detect Zika in a person and besides it provides results within five to seven hours. Nonetheless, of importance is to determine whether or not someone is infected and thereafter track and probably help prevent the spread of the virus.
Abbott commitment into bringing new products and technologies to the world
The current tools for detecting Zika and other tropical diseases are laboratory-based. Thus they are not reliable. On the other hand, these labs are not available in the remote areas. This is what provoked the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to award a contract to Abbott to develop a testing panel for Zika.
For more than 125 years, Abbott has obliged to the commitment of improving the diagnostics and nutritional fields by embracing new technologies. They are also into enhanced medical devices. In the meantime, Abbott’s stock was trading at $42.75 an increase of $0.41 or 0.97%.