Astrotech’s stock skyrockets after JDA with Cleveland Clinic to develop COVID-19 breath test

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Shares of Astrotech Corp. skyrocketed 168% in active trading to pace all premarket gainers Wednesday, after the company said its BreathTech Corp. subsidiary has partnered with the Cleveland Clinic to develop a rapid breath test for COVID-19. Trading volume was 11.4 million shares ahead of the open, compared with the full-day average of about 1.4 million shares. The stock is on track to open at the highest price seen during regular-session hours since April, in the aftermath of the company’s announcement in March that it was developing a breath test that could screen for lung infections, including the COVID-19 virus. Astrotech said late Tuesday that BreathTech sighed a joint development agreement (JDA) with Cleveland Clinic to explore leveraging the BreathTest-1000 mass spectrometer to rapidly screen for COVID-19. “The advantage of breath testing is that it is non-invasive and non-intrusive,” said Dr. Raed Dweik, chairman of Cleveland Clinic’s Respiratory Institute. “It does not have a dose limitation like x-rays, an amount limitation like blood or saliva tests, or a timing limitation like PCR, blood and urine tests.” Astrotech’s stock has lost 6.1% year to date through Tuesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 6.6%.
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