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Strong October for GenMark, Myriad Stocks Lead GWDN Index Rise

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Shares of GenMark Diagnostics and Myriad Genetics rose more than 20 percent each in October, to lead the 34 stocks that comprise the GenomeWeb Daily News Index.

Overall, the Index gained 5 percent — less than the Nasdaq, which was up 6 percent for October, but outperforming the Nasdaq Biotech Index, which rose nearly 4 percent, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which gained 3 percent.

GenMark didn't release any news during the month, but is scheduled to report its third-quarter financials later this week. The firm's shares increased 46 percent for the month of October, following a 19 percent decrease the previous month, placing it among the Index's bottom performers for September.

Myriad Genetics' shares were up 21 percent, driven mid-month by a research note published by RBC Capital Markets suggesting the firm may be an acquisition target. The note named a handful of potential buyers including Roche, AstraZeneca, and Sanofi-Aventis.

In total, only nine of the stocks in the Index lost value during the month. The biggest drop was experienced by Celera, whose shares fell around 15 percent in October.

Early in the month, a meta-analysis that sheds doubt on the validity of the KIF6 variant as a pharmacogenomic cardiac biomarker, along with an editorial from two cardiologists cautioning test developers and investigators from rushing to market with gene markers with limited clinical validity, was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. As reported by GWDN sister publication Pharmacogenomics Reporter, he study casted a shadow on Celera's claims that its StatinCheck KIF6 test can predict which patients with heart disease will benefit from statins.

Celera responded, saying the study was flawed and accusing the editorial of containing "numerous inaccuracies, misstatements, and omissions."

Also, early in the month, Celera announced that CFO Ugo DeBlasi was leaving the firm.

Celera is scheduled to report its third-quarter financial results later this week.

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