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William Blair Initiates Coverage of Point-of-Care MDx Firm Lucira Health With Outperform Rating

NEW YORK — Investment bank William Blair on Tuesday initiated coverage of point-of-care diagnostic firm Lucira Health with an Outperform rating.

In a research note, William Blair analyst Brian Weinstein wrote that Lucira has developed a simple, handheld, single-use MDx test powered by batteries and that use-cases for the product are "large and still evolving."

In particular, the investment bank sees potential for expanded use of Lucira's test in the over-the-counter markets, where the company may become one of the first to receive Emergency Use Authorization.

"Lucira’s first test addresses a large, underserved, and important market for which the durability is underestimated," Weinstein said, adding that the investment bank is initiating coverage with an Outperform rating partly based on "what we believe is an expanding use-case for testing as a way to confirm negative status."

Coronavirus testing today focuses on confirmation of positive status for active infection, Weinstein said, but new use-cases could emerge that aim to help confirm negative status, and such "testing should be part of a return to pre-pandemic normalcy."

Last November, the US Food and Drug Administration granted Emergency Use Authorization for the Lucira COVID-19 All-in-One Test Kit, the first COVID-19 assay authorized for rapid self-testing at home.

Emeryville, California-based Lucira went public last month at $17 per share.

Shares of Lucira were down more than 6 percent to $18.07 in Tuesday morning trading on the Nasdaq.