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Abaxis' VetScan Test Kit Wins USDA Approval

Zacks Equity Research

Abaxis, Inc. (ABAX) has received the approval for its VetScan Canine Ehrlichia Antibody Test Kit from the Center for Veterinary Biologicals of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (:USDA). This test finds use in the identification of ehrlichiosis in dogs, caused by tick-borne rickettsial parasites called Ehrlichia.

Ehrlichiosis is a form of bacterial infection caused by the Rickettsiae family of bacteria. This disease affects both humans and animals and usually gets transmitted through the bite of a tick.  

Abaxis' VetScan Canine Ehrlichia Antibody Test Kit employs a patent-protected method of detecting antibodies reactive to outer membrane proteins of the Ehrlichia bacteria. It is the only test endorsed for the detection of antibodies for all three dominant species that affect dogs in the U.S., namely, E. canis., E. chafeensis and E. ewingii.

Abaxis offers physicians the convenience of purchasing each test individually based on the medical need and history of the patient, as well as factors like the occurrence of a particular disease in his geographic area.

Per management, the USDA approval will open roads for Abaxis' customers to utilize these lateral flow rapid tests to detect the presence of canine heartworm, Lyme and Ehrlichia. According to reliable sources, this test kit has the potential to enhance the efficiency and the economics of conducting such tests for similar vector-borne diseases.

Given that tick-borne diseases are more often region-specific, the VetScan Canine Ehrlichia Antibody Test Kit holds significant potential when it comes to providing regionally appropriate diagnostics that can deliver improved patient outcomes in a time and cost-effective manner.

Currently, Abaxis carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked medical product stocks that warrant a look are Nxstage Medical, Inc. (NXTM), OraSure Technologies, Inc. (OSUR) and ICU Medical, Inc. (ICUI). While Nxstage sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), OraSure and ICU Medical hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).      

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