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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Coronavirus, the Italian DiaSorin test is ready: diagnosis in an hour (instead of six)

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His progenitor was born in the first global village war, the Desert Storm operation in the 1990s, he will now fight in the first globalization pandemic. The molecular test for the rapid identification (one hour) of the new Covid-19 coronavirus that DiaSorin Group is preparing to officially launch on the market received the go-ahead from the European Industry Authority and the US FDA on Friday. And on Monday the Stock Exchange celebrated the news: Diasorin one of the few stocks in the Piazza Affari positive list, with a jump of over 3%.

The conclusion of the experimental phase, in collaboration with two of the frontline hospitals against coronavirus, Spallanzani in Rome and San Matteo in Pavia, was announced ten days ago, on March 10th. Developed in the molecular diagnostics center in Gerenzano (Varese), it was designed for the first line: it allows to reduce the response time from 6-7 hours to 60 minutes and travels on small machines that examine 8 samples at a time. therefore the kit for triage structures, after the numerous cases of infections inside the walls of nosocomes. the test for emergencies and emergencies. It is a precious time to save money, for the patient and the hospital that has to intervene, explains Carlo Rosa, CEO of DiaSorin and among the reference partners of the multinational in vitro diagnostics (the majority shareholder the Denegri family) .


Carlo Rosa, DiaSorin
Carlo Rosa, DiaSorin

Since the new test was announced, Rosa says, they have been calling from all over Italy. We have chosen to have a dialogue directly with the regions that are coordinating the health emergency, starting with the most affected, Lombardy, Piedmont, Veneto and Emilia Romagna. They will decide, according to their plans, where to use it. With the okay arrived Friday by the Food and Drugs administration, today the test can also be launched in the United States, where they will be produced all over the world by the subsidiary Diasorin Molecular, based in California. In April it is estimated that 300 thousand tests will be produced, of which one hundred thousand for the Italian market. Given the emergency, it is clear to the recipients that the group has cut supply prices by 25%: there is a social responsibility issue, short size Rosa.

The judgment of the stock exchange

Meanwhile, the answer came from the market that had already made Diasorin one of the 2019 stock exchange cases, the year in which the stock appreciated by about 60%, passing the threshold of 6.5 billion capitalization at the end of December. Not to mention that from 10 March, the day of the announcement of the new rapid diagnosis test of Covid-19, the title in Piazza Affari increased from 104 euros to almost 130 euros (on Friday, it filed growth by closing at around 112 euros, on the following the trend of all of the entire price list). Last year's accounts closed with 180.1 million cash generation compared to 163.6 million in 2018, a record amount in the group's history, also favored. A good step for the company with roots in Piedmont that only five years ago in the Milanese list expressed a value of 40 euros per share. The appreciation made it possible to distribute approximately 500 million dividends to shareholders, with a composite total shareholder return (net profit and distributed dividends) of 1.061% since 2007, the year in which DiaSorin was listed in Milan. Companies must always invest in research to be able to reason in the long run. But the country should also support Italian champions in strategic sectors such as life sciences. Because only research can help get us out of trouble that the future can prepare, says Rosa whose group has staked 250 million in this sector in the past four years. We will continue to work at a rate of 40-50 million a year because we look to the future. Important and expected clarification, given that the impact of Coronavirus is now mowing down the use of traditional diagnostics in the world, with peaks of -75% in China in the six weeks of the virus peak, when patients were invited not to go to the hospital . Something similar is happening in Italy and almost everywhere. And this of course generates a negative effect on an industrial sector that has a concentration of important costs, according to a general scheme that sees the health authority pay the test, receiving machines in use without charges against costs that the company amortizes in average in three years. On the other hand, the expectation of a transformation of the virus into an endemic presence on more mature markets could push the authorities to request a massive dose of tests in the future, also in order to carry out mass screening. A practice already followed in the US for common influence, with 40-50 million tests every year (In Italy as in Europe we are in the order of tens of thousands).

From America to Gerenzano

Returning to DiaSorin, it all started in 2016 when the group took over from California's Quest Diagnostics, allied with 3M, the Californian Focus Diagnostics (now named DiaSorin Molecular), created for rapid diagnoses. In his stomach he has the platform created on behalf of the US army that should have been used to test the soldiers engaged in war scenarios (in the campaign towards Kuwait City they were all vaccinated against anthrax). Today the molecular society, which has 50 researchers between the USA and Italy, installs its platforms called Liaison Mdx in the world laboratories on which up to 40 different sophisticated diagnostic tests can be performed, such as the herpetic test on cerebro-spinal fluid for children but also for viral infections such as coronavirus. led by President John Gerace. The team was tempted to develop the test in California, the American heart of biotech. But the young Italian researchers in the center of Gerenzano (Varese) convinced Rosa to let them try in Italy. Mission accomplished. Giulia Minnucci, Diasorin's head of molecular research in Europe, coordinated their test design work which was then validated in Pavia and Rome. Rosa gratefully comments: They worked day and night for weeks at Spallanzani and San Matteo. Our 25 young Italian researchers have thus managed to develop the fast diagnostic test for Covid-19 in eight weeks, which typically takes twelve months of work. And who knows that that team cannot revive the sensational success of the vitamin D test that Diasorin first launched 25 years ago and revived with a new program six years ago.

. Tags News i : DiaSorin (t) coronavirus (t) Carlo Rosa


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