Shares of OraSure Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: OSUR), a company developing oral-fluid-based diagnostics, ticked up 12.1% in June, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. Investors cheered a new agreement with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that should boost availability of the company's OraQuick HIV Self-Test throughout 50 developing countries.
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The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will provide support payments that could total a maximum of $20 million over a four-year period. In return, OraSure needs to bring its OraQuick HIV self-test to market in 50 countries throughout Asia and Africa.
While the deal will certainly help the company increase global awareness of its products, the foundation isn't about to make it rain cash for OraSure. Payments have a $6 million annual ceiling and are also linked to the number of tests sold. OraSure sales reached $32.5 million in the first quarter alone, and are expected to fall between $36.5 and $37 million in the second quarter.
International sales of the company's most popular virus tests have been exploding. In the first quarter, year-over-year HIV test sales grew 210% to $2.6 million, and sales of OraSure's hepatitis C test surged 340% to $4.4 million. A more recently launched Ebola test and a Zika virus test in development could push the segment up even further in the years ahead. In the meantime, investors can look forward to continued growth of international HIV test sales fueled in part by the recent agreement with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
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