Friday, December 4, 2020

Astrotech Corp. (ASTC) Escalates Following JDA with Cleveland Clinic to Develop a Rapid COVID-19 Breath Test

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Astrotech stock has rallied today after the company announced its plans for a rapid COVID-19 breath test through non-invasive technology using breath samples to screen for virus indicators. 

Shares of Astrotech Corporation (ASTC) sky-rocketed in the morning on Wednesday followed by the company’s plans to work on developing a rapid COVID-19 breath testing method in cooperation with Cleveland Clinic.

In the morning on today around 9:40 A.M. EDT, ASTC soared as high as $6.13 after beginning the trading at $4.88. The stock closed the previous trading session at $1.66 before it made a massive move in the premarket today rising up to 160%. 

As we write this at 3:01 P.M. EDT, ASTC was trading at $2.49 continuing the bullish momentum soaring by 50%. Currently, Astrotech remains the third highest traded stock trading with a volume of almost 113 million. 

Astrotech has been working on this project since March and it was keen to find a solution to COVId-19 testing. The company was already working on developing a breath-based testing system to screen for lung infections including coronavirus. The news came on Wednesday when the company officially announcing that its subsidiary, BreathTech Corporation had signed a joint development agreement (JDA) with Cleveland Clinic.

The partnership with Cleveland Clinic will help Astrotech to explore its BreathTest-1000™ mass spectrometer to rapidly screen for coronavirus. Both the firms will focus on developing a non-invasive device that will use breath samples in identifying virus strains. In addition, the device will be based on a low-cost and also provide a self-service screening option applicable on a large scale. 

The Managing Director and Chairman of Cleveland Clinic’s Respiratory Institute, Dr. Raed Dweik will be leading the Cleveland Clinic team. The team of researchers from BreathTech and Cleveland Clinic will work collectively on Astrotech’s BreathTest-1000™ mass spectrometer. 

The CEO of BreathTech, Thomas B. Pickens III stated:

Over the past months, both teams have evaluated and explored a framework to collaborate in the development of the BreathTech technology at Cleveland Clinic and believe that our mass-spec technology has potential to play an important role in providing a quick, non-invasive, easy-to-use screening device that can be utilized in hospitals, nursing homes, schools and airports in an effort to get all of our lives back to normal again.”

The mass spectrometry-based device will help in detecting metabolites corresponding with respiratory disease and possibly screen patients rapidly within 60 seconds. The joint team is looking forward to initiating a clinical trial in the next few months. 

The technology that Astrotech Corporation (ASTC) will be using has the potential to make COVID-19 testing more reachable with swift service guiding critical therapeutic decisions, said Dr. Dweik.

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