April 25, 2019

FDA clears Psychemedics' hair test for fentanyl

Photo | Google
The Acton headquarters of Psychemedics

Acton drug test manufacturer Psychemedics Corp. has begun marketing a hair test to detect fentanyl, a powerful opioid gaining a reputation for its role in drug overdoses.

The test, the company said, is the first hair test for fentanyl cleared by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, but other products like urine tests are currently marketed by other companies.

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, overdose deaths involving fentanyl have exploded, increasing more than 1,000% between 2011 and 2016.

Despite the news, shares of the company's stock actually fell from Tuesday's close of $13.78 to Thursday's open of $12.00.

Perhaps tempering the company's value were first quarter earnings, released Tuesday afternoon, that reported a 10% decrease in year-over-year revenue from $10.9 million to $9.8 million.

Net income fell even more, from $1.3 million to just $600,000, more than a 50% decrease.

The company blamed that performance on negative changes in the Brazilian foreign currency exchange rate and soft international revenues.

The company's share price is the lowest it's been since early 2016.

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