Date : July 15, 2020
The Covid-19 data continues to be a nightmare. It’s bad everywhere, but particularly troublesome in regions that initially attempted, whether officially or not, to act according to the establishment of so-called “herd immunity”, whereby enough people in any given populated area develop antibodies protecting against infection to make the virus inviable on a statistical basis because too many interactions in public spaces would run into antibody protection in one or the other (or both) individuals in close proximity. Such a feature on a population level creates conditions whereby the virus inevitably disappears.
However, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has many features that make this very difficult, and we simply haven’t seen enough viral propagation to build that shield yet.
Worse still, a new study from researchers in London out over the weekend appears to show that Covid-19 active antibodies may dwindle into ineffectuality in previously infected individuals within about three months, allowing for re-infection with the virus. That’s a death-knell for the herd immunity concept in this case and forces us to simply double down on vaccine development and the development of treatments and monoclonal antibody prevention shields.
It also means that the market will likely continue to search out and ramp stocks that have built commercial models designed to capitalize on personal protection equipment and antibody testing.
Which brings us to Allstar Health Brands Inc (OTCMKTS:ALST), a company now actively engaged in the PPE and antibody testing space.
A Balance of Needs
On the one hand, we need to prevent unnecessary deaths from this terrible virus. On the other hand, we are all something akin to cells in a collective organism known as “the economy”. If the economy dies during this process, the result will be much more death, suffering, and hardship than the virus can ever deliver.
As cited in Michael Lewis’s instant classic, The Big Short, it is estimated that 40,000 people die for every sustained 1% move higher in the unemployment rate. With unemployment now at over 11%, that means a whole lot of folks are destined to suffer a terrible cost if we don’t get things moving again soon.
But we can’t simply throw caution to the wind on public policy and reopen into a storm of viral catastrophe.
One major tool to attempt to navigate this terrible calculation and achieve the least bad overall outcome is rapid antibody testing. Even though antibodies may only be protective for 3 months, that’s still an important three-month window and we need to mobilize everyone with antibodies while they are present.
Recent data from Moderna (MRNA) suggests its vaccine candidate is on track for success by the end of the year or early next year on a widespread level. If that one fails, there are another 25 candidates lined up to take its place. In other words, a vaccine is on the way. But we need something to bridge the intervening months and help businesses function.
Again, the answer is part precautions and part antibody testing. ALST offers both.
To wit: ALST just announced this week an order for Covid-19 Rapid Antibody tests for sales in Florida. The demand for these types of test kits, which can deliver results in minutes, may help with managing the recent uptick of new infections in Florida and other states as well.
Dr. Daniel Bagi, President of AllStar, stated, “The recent uptick in new coronavirus cases in many states, and especially in Florida is a troubling statistic. We are working with local distributors to offer clinics and hospitals more access to these rapid antibody tests. As the acceptance of these types of tests take hold, we expect an increase in the volume and frequency of these orders. We believe the tests we distribute are among the best available and have been validated by several top-tier reference labs. These types of antibody tests can help determine if an individual has started to produce antibodies to fight the coronavirus infection. Together with the clinical picture, rapid antibody tests are an important part of the arsenal against Covid-19 and can be used as one of the tools shaping future policy strategies.”
Florida is currently one of the hardest hit states in terms of new infections, hospitalizations, death rate, and positive test rate. But, with rapid antibody testing and pervasive use of masks and common sense, and new innovations now on the way, we can get through this.
And companies like Allstar Brands are lined up and ready to help us build that bridge to a vaccine that is effective and widely available.