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Energy : Energy Equipment & Services | Small Cap Value
Company profile

RigNet, Inc. (RigNet) provides customized systems and solutions serving customers with data networking and operational requirements. The Company provides voice and data network, video conferencing and monitoring, crew welfare, asset and weather monitoring, and real-time data services. It operates through two segments: Managed Services, and Systems Integration and Automation (SI&A). The Managed Services segment provides remote communications services for offshore and onshore drilling rigs and production facilities, as well as, support vessels and other remote sites. The SI&A segment provides customized solutions for customer telecommunications systems. As of December 31, 2016, the Company provided remote communications and collaborative services to approximately 500 customers reaching approximately 900 remote sites located in approximately 50 countries on six continents. It provides managed remote communications, engineered telecommunications solutions and applications.

Closing Price
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-0.08 (-1.94%)
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(Below Average)

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UPDATE: Here's what to know about Abbott's 15-minute COVID-19 test

1:48 pm ET September 1, 2020 (MarketWatch)

By Zoe McLaren

This is a major advance in bringing the coronavirus pandemic under control

On Aug. 26, the Food and Drug Administration (https://www.fda.gov/home) granted an Emergency Use Authorization (https://www.fda.gov/media/141567/download) to a new rapid antigen test (https://theconversation.com/antigen-tests-for-covid-19-are-fast-and-easy-and-could-solve-the-coronavirus-testing-problem-despite-being-somewhat-inaccurate-137977) for COVID-19 called the BinaxNOW test (https://abbott.mediaroom.com/2020-08-26-Abbotts-Fast-5-15-Minute-Easy-to-Use-COVID-19-Antigen-Test-Receives-FDA-Emergency-Use-Authorization-Mobile-App-Displays-Test-Results-to-Help-Our-Return-to-Daily-Life-Ramping-Production-to-50-Million-Tests-a-Month).

I study public health policy (https://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=t6ZtGJwAAAAJ) to combat infectious disease epidemics. Testing is one of the most powerful tools available to fight the spread of COVID-19. The new test is inexpensive, rapid and easy to use (https://abbott.mediaroom.com/2020-08-26-Abbotts-Fast-5-15-Minute-Easy-to-Use-COVID-19-Antigen-Test-Receives-FDA-Emergency-Use-Authorization-Mobile-App-Displays-Test-Results-to-Help-Our-Return-to-Daily-Life-Ramping-Production-to-50-Million-Tests-a-Month). It will massively scale up (https://abbott.mediaroom.com/2020-08-26-Abbotts-Fast-5-15-Minute-Easy-to-Use-COVID-19-Antigen-Test-Receives-FDA-Emergency-Use-Authorization-Mobile-App-Displays-Test-Results-to-Help-Our-Return-to-Daily-Life-Ramping-Production-to-50-Million-Tests-a-Month) access to testing, but hurdles remain in achieving widespread, frequent COVID-19 testing. (https://images.theconversation.com/files/355579/original/file-20200831-21-vfnu2i.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&rect=60%2C80%2C1226%2C916&q=45&auto=format&w=1000&fit=clip)

The credit-card-sized test is an antigen test that detects a specific viral protein (https://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/archives/2020/08/27/thoughts-on-a-new-coronavirus-test-and-on-testing) from SARS-CoV-2. It costs $5 (https://abbott.mediaroom.com/2020-08-26-Abbotts-Fast-5-15-Minute-Easy-to-Use-COVID-19-Antigen-Test-Receives-FDA-Emergency-Use-Authorization-Mobile-App-Displays-Test-Results-to-Help-Our-Return-to-Daily-Life-Ramping-Production-to-50-Million-Tests-a-Month) and doesn't require a lab or a machine for processing.

Performing the test is simple. A health-care worker or technician would use a swab to collect a sample from less than 1 inch inside the nostril (https://www.fda.gov/media/141570/download). They would then combine the sample with a few drops of chemicals (https://www.fda.gov/media/141570/download) inside the test card. Within 15 minutes, the test strip would show a positive or negative result. The test is also paired with an app (https://www.abbott.com/BinaxNOW-Test-NAVICA-App.html) that produces a digital code that can be scanned to show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test.

The BinaxNOW test is currently only authorized for patients who have had COVID-19 symptoms for seven days or less (https://abbott.mediaroom.com/2020-08-26-Abbotts-Fast-5-15-Minute-Easy-to-Use-COVID-19-Antigen-Test-Receives-FDA-Emergency-Use-Authorization-Mobile-App-Displays-Test-Results-to-Help-Our-Return-to-Daily-Life-Ramping-Production-to-50-Million-Tests-a-Month), which is when virus levels in the body are likely to be high (https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-0869-5). It must be prescribed by a physician and performed by a trained technician (https://abbott.mediaroom.com/2020-08-26-Abbotts-Fast-5-15-Minute-Easy-to-Use-COVID-19-Antigen-Test-Receives-FDA-Emergency-Use-Authorization-Mobile-App-Displays-Test-Results-to-Help-Our-Return-to-Daily-Life-Ramping-Production-to-50-Million-Tests-a-Month)or other health-care worker.

The PCR test for COVID-19 is currently widely used and considered the gold standard (https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-tests-are-pretty-accurate-but-far-from-perfect-136671), but requires patient samples to be sent to a lab and can take days to provide results (https://theconversation.com/making-coronavirus-testing-easy-accurate-and-fast-is-critical-to-ending-the-pandemic-the-us-response-is-falling-far-short-142366). The new antigen test is designed to be a cheap and quick alternative to PCR testing (https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/08/milestone-fda-oks-simple-accurate-coronavirus-test-could-cost-just-5#) for diagnostic purposes in a medical setting. It would add critical capacity to an overstretched testing system (https://theconversation.com/making-coronavirus-testing-easy-accurate-and-fast-is-critical-to-ending-the-pandemic-the-us-response-is-falling-far-short-142366).

The emergency use authorization provides preliminary authorization (https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/mcm-legal-regulatory-and-policy-framework/emergency-use-authorization) for doctors to prescribe the antigen test while the full FDA approval process is ongoing. The authorization could be revoked (https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-update-fda-revokes-emergency-use-authorization-chloroquine-and) if the test is not as accurate or reliable as expected.

Abbott, the health technology company (https://www.abbott.com/about-abbott.html) (ABT) that produces the test, reports that when patients had symptoms the test was in agreement with PCR testing for 97.1% for COVID-19 positive cases and 98.5% for COVID-19 negative cases (https://abbott.mediaroom.com/2020-08-26-Abbotts-Fast-5-15-Minute-Easy-to-Use-COVID-19-Antigen-Test-Receives-FDA-Emergency-Use-Authorization-Mobile-App-Displays-Test-Results-to-Help-Our-Return-to-Daily-Life-Ramping-Production-to-50-Million-Tests-a-Month). This is high enough for diagnostic settings (https://www.hcplive.com/view/comparing-rt-pcr-and-chest-ct-for-diagnosing-covid19) where accuracy is critical.

However, the true accuracy could be lower because the performance testing group was only 102 people (https://www.fda.gov/media/141570/download) and the accuracy hasn't been validated by the FDA as part of the full approval process. There will inevitably be some false negatives and false positives with the BinaxNOW test since accuracy isn't 100%, but the FDA will monitor the data (https://www.fda.gov/regulatory-information/search-fda-guidance-documents/emergency-use-authorization-medical-products-and-related-authorities#monitoring) to make sure the test meets the reported accuracy.

The BinaxNOW test is cheap, rapid, able to be mass-produced and easy to use outside a lab. This makes it a promising candidate for widespread screening (https://theconversation.com/rapid-screening-tests-that-prioritize-speed-over-accuracy-could-be-key-to-ending-the-coronavirus-pandemic-143882). However, the test is currently only authorized for people with COVID-19 symptoms.

This is an obstacle because an estimated 40% of all COVID-19 cases are asymptomatic (https://theconversation.com/can-people-spread-the-coronavirus-if-they-dont-have-symptoms-5-questions-answered-about-asymptomatic-covid-19-140531) and these people likely don't know that they're contagious. To maximize the effectiveness of any COVID-19 screening program, it is important to test people whether they have symptoms or not.

Health-care providers are able to prescribe the BinaxNOW test for asymptomatic patients for off-label use (https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/coronavirus-covid-19-and-medical-devices/faqs-testing-sars-cov-2?utm_campaign=2020-08-14%20August%2014%20Update:%20New%20Information%20on%20Testing%20for%20SARS-CoV-2&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eloqua#general-screening-asymptomatic), but health officials don't yet know how accurate the test is (https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/28/abbott-has-trial-of-its-rapid-coronavirus-test-for-asymptomatic-people.html) when performed on asymptomatic people.

The massive expansion of testing access made possible by the BinaxNOW test will almost surely outweigh the downsides of a small number of inaccurate results. Abbott plans to manufacture 50 million tests per month (https://abbott.mediaroom.com/2020-08-26-Abbotts-Fast-5-15-Minute-Easy-to-Use-COVID-19-Antigen-Test-Receives-FDA-Emergency-Use-Authorization-Mobile-App-Displays-Test-Results-to-Help-Our-Return-to-Daily-Life-Ramping-Production-to-50-Million-Tests-a-Month) starting in October. This will quickly exceed the 76 million COVID-19 tests (https://covidtracking.com/data/national/tests) the U.S. has performed over the last six months.

Widespread, frequent testing is effective at slowing the spread (https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.06.22.20136309) of the coronavirus. The new testing capacity made possible by the authorization of this rapid antigen test represents a major advance in bringing the pandemic under control.

Now read:This university created its own COVID-19 test and is testing students twice a week -- but is it enough to prevent an outbreak? (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-university-created-its-own-covid-19-test-and-is-testing-students-twice-a-week-experts-are-watching-to-see-if-its-enough-to-prevent-an-outbreak-11598648724)

Zoë McLaren (https://theconversation.com/profiles/zoe-mclaren-1008458) is an associate professor of public policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. This was first published by The Conversation -- "Will the new 15-minute COVID-19 test solve US testing problems? (https://theconversation.com/will-the-new-15-minute-covid-19-test-solve-us-testing-problems-145285)"

-; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 01, 2020 13:48 ET (17:48 GMT)

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