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Applied DNA Analyst Says Coronavirus Testing, Vaccine Work Could Drive Major Upside

July 2, 2020 1:08 pm
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Applied DNA Analyst Says Coronavirus Testing, Vaccine Work Could Drive Major Upside

Shares of Applied DNA Sciences Inc (NASDAQ:APDN), which is in the race to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, offer an attractive buying opportunity, according to H.C. Wainwright.

The Applied DNA Analyst: Yi Chen initiated coverage of Applied DNA shares with a Buy rating and $18 price target, suggesting roughly 132% upside from current levels. 

The Applied DNA Thesis: Applied DNA's LinearDNA large-scale polymerase chain reaction-based manufacturing platform offers many benefits over the limitations of a large-scale plasmid-based circular DNA approach, especially in the areas of speed, scale, safety and customization, Chen said in a Thursday initiation note. (See his track record here.)

The company has been producing large quantities of DNA for use in the nucleic acid-based in vitro diagnostics and preclinical nucleic-acid based drug development and manufacturing markets, the analyst said. 

Applied DNA's real-time reverse transcription PCR test for qualitative detection of the SARS-CoV-2 — which has been validated and has FDA Emergency Use Authorization — can be used on high-throughput PCR systems for population screening, he said.

The company is on track to ship the assay kits to labs across the U.S. during this quarter, Chen said. 

Applied DNA is developing a linear DNA-based COVID-19 vaccine in collaboration with the Italian biotech firm Takis Biotech, the analyst said.

The data from the linear DNA version in animal studies of the vaccine is due shortly.

"Given the company's rapid responses and the substantial markets of COVID-19 testing and vaccines, we rate shares at Buy with a 12-month price target of $18," Chen said. 

APDN Price Action: At last check, Applied DNA shares were adding 7.87% to $8.36.

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