NEW YORK – Meridian Bioscience's share price jumped 21 percent Monday after the company announced its Lyo-Ready 1-Step RT q-PCR mix is being used in the coronavirus outbreak in China.
Diagnostic companies and laboratories in China are using the reagent to develop "fast and accurate" screening assays, Meridian said. The ready-to-use reagent is designed to improve the accuracy of assays, since they can be "set up and freeze-dried, so that they are highly stable, just requiring the patient sample to be added and the assay run," said Liang Zhang, Meridian's general manager in China. This allows patients to be screened quickly to stop the spread of 2019-nCoV, which has already infected more than 2,000 people and killed 56 at the time of this story.
The virus, which comes with severe pneumonia-like symptoms, was first reported in Wuhan, China, on Dec. 31, 2019. Labs at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, BGI, Co-Diagnostics, and Oxford Nanapore have all developed methods for potential diagnostic use for the virus.
Cincinnati-based Meridian's shares were trading at $11.50 when the market closed Monday afternoon and climbed a further 2 percent to $11.71 in after-hours trade on the Nasdaq.