Molecular technology firm Applied DNA Sciences (NASDAQ:APDN) — which among its many specialties include polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based solutions — recently initiated an analytical validation of its PCR test for the monkeypox virus. The test is designed to identify the monkeypox virus’ genetic signature. This news comes amid rising monkeypox cases, which in turn, is driving demand for mitigation measures. As a result, APDN stock jumped 80% earlier this morning before settling into a range of 56% up during the early afternoon hours.
Applied DNA Sciences has been developing the test as part of the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) Laboratory Developed Test designation. LDTs refer to a certain class of in vitro diagnostics (IVDs) and are significant because of their regulatory profile. Generally speaking, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not enforce premarket review of LDTs, though it makes exceptions for high-risk iterations.
If Applied DNA determines that its monkeypox PCR test provides satisfactory results, it will submit a validation package to the NYSDOH for approval. Dr. James A. Hayward, president and CEO of Applied DNA Sciences, stated:”Based on our experience with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are keenly aware of the crucial role PCR-based diagnostic tools can play in responding and helping to control public health outbreaks.”
“With a proven workflow and testing services born of COVID-19, upon test approval, [Applied DNA Sciences] stands ready to apply its testing capacity in service of New Yorkers’ health,” Dr. Hayward added.
The testing announcement and subsequent rise of APDN stock are occurring amid growing concern of increasing monkeypox infections. Therefore, robust testing mechanisms may allow government agencies to better control and manage this latest outbreak.
APDN Stock and the Sudden Relevance
As Americans gradually acclimated to the Covid-19 pandemic — accelerated in no small part by the reduction of mitigation protocols — companies related to viral pathogenic management generally suffered declines, in some cases severe ones. Even APDN stock was not immune, crumbling 85% on a year-to-date (YTD) basis just prior to its resurgence.
The spike up may have some sticking power, at least for as long as monkeypox infections dominate the news cycle. For instance, on Monday, California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency to speed efforts to combat the monkeypox outbreak, per an AP report.
“We’ll continue to work with the federal government to secure more vaccines, raise awareness about reducing risk, and stand with the LGBTQ community fighting stigmatization,” Newsom said in a statement announcing the emergency declaration.
On July 23 of this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared monkeypox a global health emergency. Since then, New York and Illinois have also declared monkey as a public health emergency.
Per CNBC, “California, Illinois and New York – home to the nation’s three largest cities – have reported 47% of all confirmed monkeypox infections in the U.S. New York is the epicenter of the outbreak in the U.S., with nearly 1,400 confirmed cases as of Monday.” Thus, the need for management tools bolsters the bullish case for APDN stock.
Why It Matters
Monkeypox isn’t just a heightened threat for public officials to manage but also imposes severe challenges at the individual level. For instance, while monkeypox isn’t nearly as contagious or deadly as the Covid-19 virus, the New York Times reported that people should nevertheless take precautions against infection.
In particular, some patients may experience symptoms that are excruciatingly painful, with one sufferer telling the NYT in an interview that the misery was akin to glass shards against the skin. With every incentive imaginable to get on top of this crisis, APDN stock is cynically enjoying its time in the limelight.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.