'Breakthrough results': Why this ASX healthcare share just exploded 160%

BCAL Diagnostics has developed a blood test to detect breast cancer that it says may be ready for commercialisation within a year.

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ASX healthcare share BCAL Diagnostics Ltd (ASX: BDX) skyrocketed to a new 52-week high of 21 cents today after the company revealed some exciting news.

At its intraday high, the BCAL share price was up 162.5%.

The ASX healthcare share has since retreated to 14.5 cents, up 81%.

Let's take a look at the details of BCAL's announcement.

ASX healthcare share shoots the lights out

BCAL Diagnostics has developed a blood test to detect breast cancer, which it is now testing for efficacy.

The company said today it has now taken a major step toward commercialisation of its breast cancer diagnostic test.

In a statement, BCAL said it has received "breakthrough results" from a clinical study co-sponsored with United States company Precion Inc.

The analysis undertaken achieved sensitivity (ability to detect true positive samples) of 90% and a specificity (ability to detect true negative samples) of 85.5%.

The results replicated earlier studies conducted in Australia using a different mass spectrometry platform.

Commercial sales by second half of 2024

BCAL says the results enhance its confidence that the blood test will be ready for commercial sales in the second half of calendar 2024.

The test would be used in conjunction with mammograms.

The company said the results mean commercial labs around the world should be able to use blood samples from the BCAL test to detect cancer.

Bcal said this will expedite its access and penetration into existing and new global markets.

Executive Chair of BCAL Jayne Shaw said:

These results are a major step towards making our test broadly available to patients and clinicians.

We will continue to work closely with leading scientists and doctors as our science team further optimises the test to make it more cost-effective when it is launched as a patient friendly blood test for detecting breast cancer

BCAL is a relatively new ASX healthcare share, listed in 2021.

The company has a market capitalisation of $16.91 million.

BCAL will be hosting an investor webinar on 8 August to further update shareholders.

How are ASX healthcare shares faring in 2023?

ASX healthcare shares are considered defensive stocks in a volatile economy.

Defensive shares represent companies that can produce stable earnings in any economic conditions.

However, ASX 200 healthcare shares are underperforming the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) in 2023.

The S&P/ASX 200 Health Care Index (ASX: XHJ) is down 0.073% while the broader ASX 200 is up 6.6%.

Motley Fool contributor Bronwyn Allen has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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