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Amid Stock Market Turmoil, Stocks of Decode and Helicos Drop Sharply in September

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Amid the turmoil of the US stock market in the latter part of September, many of the 35 firms in the GenomeWeb Daily News Index saw their stocks drop by double digits, with Decode Genetics and Helicos BioSciences feeling the impact more than the others.
 
Overall, 29 of the 35 stocks in the Index declined for the month of September, with 17 of them dropping 10 percent or more. The Index closed the month down 8.8 percent compared to a 6 percent drop for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, a 12 percent fall for the Nasdaq, and a 5.6 percent decline for the Nasdaq Biotech Index.
 
Investors in Decode and Helicos have been waiting for news about potential incoming revenue and some have appeared to have lost patience, as shares of both firms dropped sharply during September.
 
Decode led all decliners in the Index with a drop of 65 percent for the month. The firm announced during the month that it and a collaborative research partner had discovered genetic variants linked to urinary bladder cancer. It also said today that it had filed with the US Food and Drug Administration an application to test an Alzheimer’s drug.
 
Meanwhile, Helicos’ shares fell 57.4 percent for September. The firm has received two orders so far for its flagship HeliScope single-molecule sequencing instrument, one of which has been placed at Expression Analysis and a second that was scheduled to be shipped to an unnamed cancer center this week.
 
Helicos President and CEO Steve Lombardi told investors last week at the UBS Global Life Sciences Conference that the firm expects to have a total of between five and 10 orders placed for the HeliScope by the end of this year.
 
Also of note, Vermillion’s shares were removed from the Nasdaq Capital Market last week and moved to the Pink Sheets over-the-counter service due to noncompliance with Nasdaq’s minimum requirements. Vermillion’s shares finished September down 33.3 percent.
 
Only two firms in the Index, Sequenom and Celera, managed double-digit increases for their stocks during the month.
 
Sequenom’s shares soared last week after the company disclosed that its SEQureDx test for Down syndrome successfully tested for the gene Trisomy 21 in 219 patients with no false positives or negatives.
 
Shares of Celera climbed 10.4 percent for September and touched a 52-week high of $17.56 per share on Sept. 19. The shares have since pulled back and were trading at $14.45 in Friday afternoon trade on the Nasdaq.
 
Celera CEO Kathy Ordoñez told investors at the UBS conference last week that the firm plans to expand beyond the cardiovascular tests it offers through its Berkeley HeartLab unit and plans to license oncology markers to broaden its test menu.
 
While GenomeWeb Daily News covers many more firms than the 35 that are in the Index, those that have been included have a significant portion of their business focused on molecular biology and cellular research tools and are publicly traded in the US.

 
GenomeWeb Daily News Index
Company
Ticker
Current Price
(Sept. 30, 2008)
Last
Price
(Aug. 29, 2008)
% change
Accelrys
ACCL
5.49 5.13 7.02
Accelr8
AXK
3.78 3.92 -3.57
Affymetrix
AFFX
7.74 8.58 -9.79
Agilent
A
29.66 34.76 -14.67
Applied Biosystems
ABI
34.25 36.49 -6.14
Beckman
BEC
70.99 73.82 -3.83
Becton Dickinson
BDX
80.26 87.38 -8.15
Bio-Rad
BIO
93.92 107.60 -12.71
Bruker
BRKR
13.33 15.44 -13.67
Caliper
CALP
2.80 2.99 -6.35
Celera
CRA
15.45 14.00 10.36
Cepheid
CPHD
13.83 18.60 -25.65
Clinical Data
CLDA
16.08 16.53 -2.72
CombiMatrix
CBMX
14.92 14.36 3.90
Compugen
CGEN
1.66 2.05 -19.02
DeCode Genetics
DCGN
0.39 1.11 -64.86
Genomic Health
GHDX
22.65 22.38 1.21
Gen-Probe
GPRO
53.05 59.75 -11.21
Helicos BioSciences
HLCS
1.72 4.04 -57.43
Illumina*
ILMN
40.53 43.07 -5.90
Invitrogen
IVGN
37.80 42.46 -10.98
Luminex
LMNX
25.01 25.49 -1.88
MDS
MDZ
11.95 15.31 -21.95
Millipore
MIL
68.80 75.01 -8.28
Nanogen
NGEN
0.27 0.33 -18.18
Nanosphere
NSPH
8.53 9.55 -10.68
Orchid Cellmark
ORCH
2.88 3.27 -11.93
PerkinElmer
PKI
24.97 28.41 -12.11
Qiagen
QGEN
19.73 21.16 -6.76
Rosetta Genomics
ROSG
2.62 3.53 -25.78
Sequenom
SQNM
26.62 22.73 17.11
Sigma-Aldrich
SIAL
52.42 56.76 -7.65
Thermo
TMO
55.00 60.56 -9.18
Vermillion
VRML
1.00 1.50 -33.33
Waters
WAT
58.18 68.25 -14.75
GWDN Index Average 26.24
28.75
-8.75

* Illumina had a 2-for-1 stock split on Sept. 23. Its August closing price has been adjusted to reflect that split.

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