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Roche (RHHBY) Launches Cobas Test for Bacterial Infections

Roche Holdings AG RHHBY recently launched CE-IVD – the cobas MRSA/SA nucleic acid test. The test will be used on the cobas Liat System for the qualitative detection and differentiation of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Staphylococcus aureus (SA) at the point of care.

The test is designed to enable faster screening and surveillance of MRSA & SA which are known causes of healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs), for use in emergency rooms, intensive care units and STAT lab settings.

Cobas MRSA/SA detects MRSA & SA in 30 minutes. This helps to examine patients before the admission or surgery and reduces the risk of transmission within the hospital as compared with the multiple-day turnaround needed for culture results.

There is a significant need for such tests as more than 150,000 patients are affected per year as both MRSA and SA are major sources of healthcare and community associated infections in Europe.

We note that cobas MRSA/SA is the fifth assay for use on the cobas Liat PCR System and joins cobas Cdiff as part of the HAI portfolio. Other assays in Roche’s portfolio include cobas Strep A, cobas Influenza A/B and cobas Influenza A/B & RSV.

Apart from providing therapeutic products and services for diverse medical needs, Roche also focuses on innovative diagnostic solutions for the early detection and treatment of diseases. Immunodiagnostics is the key focus area for this segment.

Roche’s share price shows that the company has underperformed the Zacks classified industry in the last one year. The stock lost 3.2% compared with the Large Cap Pharmaceuticals  industry’s gain of 1.2%.

In 2016, Roche added nine instruments and tests to its comprehensive portfolio, further improving decision-making in healthcare, and supporting laboratories’ efforts to increase efficiency. The launches including cobas e 801 immunoassay module, the CoaguChek INRange system to monitor vitamin K antagonist therapy, and the Accu-Chek Guide, a next-generation blood glucose monitoring system.

Zacks Rank & Key Pick

Roche currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in healthcare sector are VIVUS, Inc. VVUS, Bayer AG BAYRY and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. REGN. All three sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

VIVUS’s loss per share estimates have declined from 50 cents to 39 cents for 2017 in the last 60 days. The company has delivered positive earnings surprises in all four trailing quarters with an average beat of 233.69%.

Regeneron’s earnings per share estimates edged up from $10.17 to $10.52 for 2017 and from $10.90 to $12.10, over the last 60 days. The company has delivered positive earnings surprises in two of the four trailing quarters with an average beat of 0.45%. Regeneron’s shares have surged 33.8% so far this year.

Bayer’s earnings per share estimates have improved from $8.36 to $8.85 for 2017 and from $8.88 to $9.52 for 2018, over the last 60 days. The company has delivered positive earnings surprises in three of the four trailing quarters with an average beat of 10.25%. Shares of Bayer have rallied 24.5% so far this year.

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Roche Holding AG (RHHBY): Free Stock Analysis Report
Bayer AG (BAYRY): Free Stock Analysis Report
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (REGN): Free Stock Analysis Report
VIVUS, Inc. (VVUS): Free Stock Analysis Report
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