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QIAGEN’s QFT-Plus Launch to Boost Molecular Diagnostics Arm


Post the receipt of FDA approval in June, QIAGEN QGEN recently announced the complete launch of the fourth generation of its blood test for tuberculosis (TB) infection — QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus (QFT-Plus) — in the United States. The advanced test kit will be available from Oct 9.

Built on the QuantiFERON-TB Gold (QFT) platform, QFT-Plus will provide enhanced analysis of TB infection. This advanced kit makes TB testing with innovative antigens possible as it measures the cell-mediated immune response to TB from both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells.

Per the company, roughly 93% of the disease in the United States originates from the 13 million-person reservoir of latent TB infection. This highlights the significance of the availability of a testing kit like QFT-Plus.

The launch is likely to widen QIAGEN’s customer base in the huge TB testing market. Per a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) published by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a total of 9,287 new TB cases were diagnosed in the United States in 2016. And according to Research and Markets data published in Business Wire, TB market is expected to see a CAGR of 4.3% to 4.8% between 2016 and 2022.

The QFT-Plus test kit falls under the company’s Molecular Diagnostics segment which was the highest revenue grosser in the last reported quarter. Notably, the segment contributed 48% to total revenues on the back of substantial growth in QuantiFERON latent TB tests, QIAsymphony automation system consumables portfolio and Personalized Healthcare.

Share Price Performance

QIAGEN has been gaining investor confidence on consistently encouraging results. Over the last six months, the company’s share price has outperformed the broader industry. The stock has gained 17.1%, as compared to the broader industry’s 12.1% gain. The company has also surpassed the 3.6% gain of the S&P 500 market over the same time frame.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

QIAGENcurrently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A few better-ranked stocks in the medical sector are Orthofix International N.V. OFIX, Luminex Corporation LMNX and IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. IDXX. Orthofix International and Luminex sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while IDEXX Laboratories carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Orthofix International has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 11.8%. The stock has rallied roughly 9.2% over the last three months.

Luminex has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 16.3%. The stock gained 7.4% last month.

IDEXX Laboratorieshas a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 19.8%. The stock has gained 37.1% in the last year.

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