The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted Roche Holding Ltd. (ADR) (OTCMKTS:RHHBY) an emergency approval of its Ebola test. The company made the disclosure today. The emergency approval comes at a time when Ebola continues to cause havoc in West Africa where thousands of people have already died of the diseases while others taken ill. The virus has also been spreading to the U.S. and Europe mostly through the aid worker returning from West Africa region.
Roche’s FDA approved Ebola test can be used in patients that have shown symptoms of Ebola virus. It can also be used to test Ebola in patients that have had an encounter with risk factors, including those that may have traveled to the epicenter of the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
The Ebola test for which Roche Holding Ltd. (ADR) (OTCMKTS:RHHBY) has now secured regulatory approval for emergency use in the U.S. is a product of a company known as TIB MOLBIOL GmbH. However, Roche is the exclusive distributor. That means that the approval of the test means the opening of a new revenue stream for the company as it seeks to improve its top and bottom line performance to enhance shareholder value.
Beyond the revenue benefits for Roche Holding Ltd. (ADR) (OTCMKTS:RHHBY) and its partner, the test is also expected to help in the fight against the current and perhaps future Ebola outbreaks. One of the major challenges in the treatment of Ebola currently is that it takes a long time to detect the virus. Additionally, symptoms don’t show in the infected people until after several days.
According to Roland Diggelman, an executive at Roche Holding Ltd. (ADR) (OTCMKTS:RHHBY), the test now approved for emergency use by the FDA allows for quick detection of virus. Quick detection of Ebola allows for early start of threat, which increases the chances of survival in the victims. Roche’s Ebola test can give results in about three hours.
Health authorities around the world are struggling to contain Ebola. Currently, the outbreak of the deadly virus is concentrated in West Africa, especially in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. According to the latest update from WHO, Ebola virus has already killed 7,693 people in the outbreak areas and sickened 19,695 others.