Co-Diagnostics (NASDAQ:CODX) Part of Silicon Slopes Initiative Inking “Big Dollar Contracts” for Coronavirus Testing

New York, New York, UNITED STATES

New York City, April 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Co-Diagnostics, Inc. (Nasdaq:CODX) (the Company), a Utah biotech with a unique, patented molecular diagnostic testing platform, recently announced that the Company's COVID-19 test built on its patented CoPrimer™ technology can be utilized with saliva collection kits.  This was followed by news that the Company had also seen an increased demand for its tests within the United States, which was announced at the same time as Co-Diagnostics’ (Nasdaq:CODX) involvement in the ‘TestUtah’ programme.  

A ‘’Test and Trace’ initiative, TestUtah aims to provide residents of Utah quicker and more efficient access to testing against COVID-19 with the purpose of getting people “back to normal as quickly as possible.”  Demonstrating its efficacy and success, the Co-Diagnostics kit is also being lined up for similar Test and Trace programmes in Iowa and Nebraska, as these two states also look to ease lockdown measures.

The CEO of the technology company behind the ‘Trace’ element of the programme, Mark Newman of Nomi Health, said that “it was about getting people back to work.”   A regional media outlet announced that “Iowa’s state government...will pay Nomi $26 million for one year ending April 16, 2021. Nomi is to provide 540,000 testing kits over that span. The Nebraska contract has not yet been disclosed.” The same source states that Co-Diagnostics has been chosen to provide the testing by the CEO of Nomi, believing that the Company will “be one of the most important companies in Utah over the next decade.”

With unemployment skyrocketing these state wide programmes may well be set to become the norm.   This is part of a global trend: Policymakers across countries are realising that the only way out of the financial cost of the lock down measures is through mass and rigorous testing.

Mass testing (for both infection and immunity) programmes should allow healthy people return to work and those who are infected get appropriate treatment. For this approach to be successful however, states and countries will need adequate supplies of testing kits.

One major hurdle in enabling mass testing and treatment has been the supply of the swabs used for collecting nasopharyngeal samples.  The main manufacturer of swabs, Copan, is based in Northern Italy.  With closed borders, supply chains have suffered.  Which makes Co-Diagnostics announcement earlier this month highly significant.

OralDNA Labs recently informed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that it has validated and plans to use a test powered by Co-Diagnostics in its lab.

Using saliva completely changes the testing landscape.  For saliva tests, individuals need only "swish and gargle," meaning less invasive and faster testing. This is an important step to achieving rigorous mass testing.

In terms of testing capacity and speed it should be noted that while other tests such as  Abbot’s purport that they can detect positive results in 5 minutes and negative in 13 minutes, that is in a point of care setting, such as a doctor’s office or hospital bedside.  At optimal performance each machine may run 10 or so tests in an hour, which may indeed be beneficial such an environment; however, in order to meet global demand of high-throughput testing, an alternative like Co-Diagnostics’ Logix Smart COVID-19 kit could potentially play a significant role as their tests can provide results for up to 46 tests in 90 mins on a single machine.  This would be necessary to make the most of the increase in sample collection that saliva testing could bring to the table. Furthermore, Co-Diagnostics (Nasdaq:CODX) tests have shown 100% sensitivity and specificity in its clinical evaluation required by the FDA, compared with Abbot’s (ABT) tests recently being afforded only 85% effectiveness by a clinical study in Cleveland.

While the Covid-19 outbreak has been responsible for the CODX share price rocketing, opinion from some sources suggesting that the stock is trading higher than it should ignore the true extent of the current crisis - Covid-19 is an insidious part of our lives until a vaccine is not only developed, but also administered on an exceptionally wide, global scale.  With estimates ranging from 12 to 18 months, there is lot of testing to be done to ensure that we can go about our lives with some semblance of normality.

The battle against coronavirus is entering the next phase. Widespread testing and tracing capabilities are critical to easing lockdowns, restarting the economies and giving people hope. Placing limits on the company, its stock, or revenue is therefore premature at this stage with the share price still well short of H.C. Wainwright’s target of $20.

Disclosure: Co-Diagnostics Inc is a client of BDA International.

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