February 13, 2020 / 2:53 PM / 8 days ago

LabCorp begins work on developing coronavirus test

(Reuters) - LabCorp said on Thursday it has begun work on developing its own test for the coronavirus that has killed over 1,300 in China.

Since late January, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has rushed to distribute the agency’s testing kits to allow states to do their own testing rather than ship all samples to CDC headquarters in Atlanta.

The laboratory service provider said it had immediately engaged with the CDC on its test being available to commercial labs and is preparing to support the global response, if necessary.

LabCorp also said it had seen minimal impact to its business due to the outbreak, particularly in China, where the usually week-long Lunar New Year holiday was extended by 10 days in much of the country amid mounting alarm over the epidemic.

“We’ll have to watch quarter-by-quarter if there’s any minor impact. But over the year period of time, we think that we’ll be fine based on what we know today,” Chief Executive Officer Adam Schechter said on a conference call with analysts.

Reporting by Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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