NEW YORK, Dec. 15 (GenomeWeb News) - Shares in Sequenom were up 37.84 percent at $1.53 in late-afternoon trading after the company said its flagship technology helped discover gene variants linked to a 40-percent increased risk of developing breast and prostate cancer.
The stock reached a high of $1.63 earlier in the day as more than 18.8 million shares traded hands, compared with an average of 330,000 over the past three months.
Sequenom this morning announced that the "common genetic variations" in intercellular adhesion molecule genes "is believed to be among the most important findings in cancer genetics since the discovery of BRCA1 and BRCA2."
The company's study, which appears in the Dec. 15 issue of Cancer Research, shows that individuals with a "deleterious version" of the ICAM gene region have a 40-percent greater risk of developing breast or prostate cancer compared to people without it.
The data also showed that the breast cancer risk increases "to more than" 300 percent in women with a family history of breast cancer.
Though the variations were originally discovered in a genome-wide search for genes involved in breast cancer, the study results showed that they "also confer a similar risk of prostate cancer."
Charles Cantor, chief scientific officer of Sequenom, said the company expects to "communicate additional research results, which will further support the ICAM genetic connection to cancer and metastasis risk in the near term."