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Health & Fit Roche jumps 2% after unveiling COVID-19 antibody test, and on finding its drugs cut need for ventilators

14:16  18 september  2020
14:16  18 september  2020 Source:   businessinsider.com

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a close up of a light: Roche tablets are seen positioned in front of a displayed Roche logo in this photo illustration. Reuters © Reuters Roche tablets are seen positioned in front of a displayed Roche logo in this photo illustration. Reuters
  • Shares in Swiss healthcare group Roche rose 2% on Friday after the company launched a new test to measure COVID-19 antibodies, and provided evidence its drugs reduce need for ventilators.
  • The new measure is Roche's 12th test in its coronavirus portfolio. The company has filed for emergency-use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration.
  • In a separate study, the healthcare firm found its drugs reduce the likelihood that patients with coronavirus-related pneumonia require ventilation.
  • Patients taking one of its drugs were 44% less likely to need ventilators, or succumb to death, the company said.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Shares in Swiss healthcare group Roche jumped 2% on Friday to three-month highs after it launched a test that quantitatively measures COVID-19 antibodies, and said separately studies show its drugs reduce patient need for ventilators.

Antibody Test for the Coronavirus Could Reveal Who Is Immune

  Antibody Test for the Coronavirus Could Reveal Who Is Immune As the coronavirus pandemic drags on, governments and people around the globe are trying to stay safe while also figuring out what work, school, and socializing will look like with COVID-19 still spreading. For public health experts to begin to understand whether regular interactions between people are safe enough to resume, they will need to know if people who were infected with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, have developed some immunity to the virus.

Roche said its new test targets antibodies against the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and can determine a vaccine-induced immune response.

"As the possibility of an effective SARS-CoV-2 vaccine becomes a reality, quantitative measurement of antibodies will be crucial in the evaluation of any potential vaccine," CEO of Roche Diagnostics, Thomas Schinecker, said in a statement.

Roche shares, which trade on the Swiss SIX exchange, were last up 2% on the day at 343.40 Swiss francs ($ here pls), their highest since June. The rise helped offset broad declines in the energy and banking sectors, along with gains in shares of rival Novartis, which gained 1.7%. The Euro Stoxx 50 rose 0.3% on Friday.

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The new measure would be Roche's 12th test in its coronavirus portfolio, and the company has filed for emergency-use authorization from the US FDA. COVID-19 has killed almost a million people around the world since it broke out at the start of this year.

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In a separate study, the healthcare firm found its drugs reduce the likelihood that patients with coronavirus-related pneumonia require ventilation.

Patients taking one of its drugs were 44% less likely to need ventilators or succumb to death, Roche said, citing a study conducted in countries including the US, South Africa, Brazil, and Mexico.

"The EMPACTA trial demonstrated that Actemra/RoActemra can reduce the need for mechanical ventilation in patients with COVID-19 associated pneumonia, an important outcome in this serious disease," Levi Garraway, Roche's chief medical officer, said in a statement.

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