Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, Inc. LH, or LabCorp, recently introduced a liquid biopsy test, Labcorp Plasma Focus. The test enables oncologists to evaluate circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) released by tumor cells and better manage the care of their patients through a personalized, targeted therapy plan.
Labcorp Plasma Focus expands the company’s suite of precision oncology tests. The launch marks a pivotal moment in the use of technology to enable quicker therapy selection for patients.
Significance of Labcorp Plasma Focus
Liquid biopsy tests require a standard blood draw and provide fast results and greater access to precision medicines. With a single and minimally invasive blood draw, Labcorp Plasma Focus detects clinically actionable biomarkers in patients across common cancer types. Simultaneously, this reduces the physical burden testing has on the patient.
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By sequencing cfDNA, important genetic changes may be detected to guide therapy selection for patients with non-small cell lung, colorectal, breast, esophageal, gastroesophageal junction, gastric cancers and melanoma. Within the United States, these cancers together represent nearly 800,000 newly diagnosed patients and cause more than 230,000 deaths each year.
Labcorp Plasma Focus is complementary to tissue-based genomic testing, particularly when the tissue is not available or accessible. The company published an analytic validation article to support the launch of Labcorp Plasma Focus. It demonstrates that the test is a highly accurate, sensitive and specific approach for genomic profiling.
Per a Research report, the global liquid biopsy market was valued at $4.72 billion in 2022 and is expected to witness a CAGR of 14.5% up to 2032.
In May, LabCorp and BML announced the expansion of clinical laboratory testing capabilities in Japan. Post-completion, the new facility is expected to provide Labcorp and BML pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients with enhanced access to central laboratory testing and drug development capabilities. This allows a greater focus on serving unique healthcare needs affecting people in the region and leveraging technology to expand testing capabilities.
In the same month, LH entered into an agreement with Providence to expand the longstanding strategic relationship between the two organizations. Through the agreement, LabCorp will acquire Providence Oregon's outreach laboratory business and select assets in Oregon. Post the completion of the transaction, patients and providers will continue to have access to Providence Oregon facilities and benefit from LabCorp’s scientific expertise and testing capabilities.
In the past six months, LH shares have decreased 12% against the industry’s rise of 2.5%.
Zacks Rank and Key Picks
LabCorp currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Some better-ranked stocks in the overall healthcare sector are Penumbra PEN, Lantheus LNTH and Neuronetics STIM. While Penumbra and Lantheus each sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Neuronetics carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Penumbra’s stock has risen 110.8% in the past year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Penumbra’s earnings per share (EPS) has increased from $1.25 to $1.56 for 2023 and from $2.33 to $2.56 for 2024 in the past 30 days.
PEN’s earnings beat estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 109.42%. In the last reported quarter, the company registered an earnings surprise of 109.09%.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Lantheus’ 2023 EPS has increased from $4.98 to $5.60 in the past 30 days. Shares of the company have improved 22.2% in the past year compared with the industry’s 34.1% decline.
LNTH’s earnings beat estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 25.77%. In the last reported quarter, the company recorded an earnings surprise of 13.95%.
Estimates for Neuronetics’ loss per share have narrowed from $1.32 to $1.29 for 2023 in the past 30 days. Shares of the company have decreased 1.3% in the past year against the industry’s 3.4% fall.
STIM’s earnings beat estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 19.61%. In the last reported quarter, Neuronetics delivered an earnings surprise of 2.56%.
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