Fluidigm surges 42% after its COVID-19 saliva test receives FDA emergency authorization

People use a newly approved saliva-based coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test at a testing site in Edison, New Jersey Reuters
  • Fluidigm, a small-cap diagnostics company, surged as much as 42% on Wednesday after the FDA granted its COVID-19 saliva test emergency authorization.
  • Fluidigm’s COVID-19 saliva test allows patients to avoid the more invasive nasal swab that has primarily been used to detect COVID-19 in a patient.
  • According to Fluidigm, its saliva-based COVID-19 test “demonstrated 100 per cent agreement” between the saliva results from the assay and the results from paired nasal swab samples tested with authorised assays.
  • Andrew Left of Citron Research tweeted that Fluidigm will “change COVID-19 testing forever,” adding that its stock is poised to surge 314% from its Tuesday close to $US35.
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Fluidigm might be the company to finally offer an alternative to the painful nasal swabs used to test patients for COVID-19.

On Wednesday, the California-based small-cap diagnostics company received FDA emergency authorization for its COVID-19 saliva test.

The company demonstrated that 100% of its saliva-based tests matched the results of nasal swabs in a clinical study, according to a press release.

Fluidigm said the saliva test for COVID-19 will be available for immediate shipment, and each diagnostic system used to analyse samples will have a capacity of up to 6,000 tests per day.

The arrival of a new COVID-19 test that is minimally invasive and produces rapid test results has the potential to change the dynamic of the testing landscape in the US, which has been bogged down by delayed test results and unwillingness of some to get tested due to the invasive nature of the nasal swab.

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One hedge fund manager that sees potential in Fluidigm is Andrew Left of Citron Research.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Left said he thinks Fluidigm could surge 314% from Tuesday’s close to $US35 due to the FDA’s emergency authorization decision.

“Company [Fluidigm] will change COVID-19 testing forever as their saliva-based test Demonstrated 100 Per cent Agreement with Nasopharyngeal Assays,” Left said, adding that Fluidigm has a “real product and management” team.

Shares of Fluidigm surged as much as 42% to $US12.45 in Wednesday trades.