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NanoString, PacBio, Fluidigm Lead December Charge in Omics Tools, MDx Stocks

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Shares of NanoString jumped 46 percent in December to lead a nearly 4 percent gain for the GenomeWeb Daily News Index for the month.

The Seattle-based molecular diagnostics and genetic analysis firm was one of several firms in the GWDN Index to provide a double-digit return for the month. Other top gainers included Pacific Biosciences, which closed up 24 percent for the month, and Fluidigm, which gained more than 20 percent.

NanoString's stock climbed steadily through the first third of the month and got a boost when the firm announced that several labs, including Arup Laboratories, Laboratory Corporation of America, and Quest Diagnostics, would offer its Prosigna Breast Cancer Prognostic Gene Signature Assay.

PacBio's shares rose after Convey Computer added an optimized version of PacBioToCA, a correction pipeline that facilitates the assembly of genomes sequenced with Pacific Biosciences' single molecule real-time sequencing technology, to its suite of bioinformatics algorithms.

Fluidigm's stock rose during the second half of the month after investment firm Maxim Group upped its price target on the shares to $42 from $33.

Of the 30 stocks that comprise the GWDN Index, 11 declined during December. The biggest drop was 29 percent for Myriad Genetics. The Salt Lake City-based molecular diagnostics firm's stock took a hit late in the month after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services updated its reimbursement level for BRACA testing at $1,438 for 2014, a slash of nearly 49 percent from a previous level of $2,795. Its shares were downgraded by Mizuho Securities following the news and its stock price target was slashed to $24 from $36 by the bank.

Among the other double-digit decliners for the month were Genomic Health (-17 percent), CombiMatrix (-12 percent), and Sequenom (-11 percent).

The 4 percent gain for the GWDN Index in December beat the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+3 percent), the Nasdaq (+3 percent), and the Nasdaq Biotech Index (+1 percent).