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Bionano Genomics Stock Soars on User Presentations, Public Stock Offering, Renewed Nasdaq Compliance

NEW YORK – Shares of Bionano Genomics rose 22 percent in Friday afternoon trading and were up around 80 percent from last week's closing price, as the company announced the closing of a public stock offering, regained compliance with Nasdaq listing requirements, and had customers present on clinical applications of its technology at an online user meeting.

On Tuesday, the San Diego firm said it had closed a $101.8 million public offering of its common stock, exceeding previous expectations to raise $88.5 million in the offering. Bionano sold 33,368,851 shares of its common stock, including 4,352,458 shares sold pursuant to the underwriters' exercise of their option to purchase additional shares, at a price of $3.05 per share for gross proceeds of approximately $101.8 million.

Separately, Bionano said on Wednesday that it had regained compliance with the Nasdaq's minimum bid price requirement for continued listing on the Nasdaq Capital Market. A letter from the Nasdaq noted that the closing bid price of the company's common stock was at or above $1 per share for 10 consecutive business days from Dec. 29, 2020 to Jan. 12, 2021, and that the matter is now closed. 

Meanwhile, Bionano held its Next-Generation Cytogenomics Symposium online user meeting this week to showcase applications for its Saphyr optical genome mapping platform for detecting structural variants of clinical significance. These included applications of Saphyr in constitutional genetic disease, hematologic malignancies, solid tumors, and COVID-19.

"Over the last year we've made tremendous progress in advancing the capabilities of Saphyr to detect the various classes of large genomic variants that are relevant in cancer and genetic disease with high throughput and low cost in a simple workflow," CEO Erik Holmlin said in a statement.

Data presented at the meeting "demonstrates that Saphyr can detect all clinically reported structural variants identified by traditional cytogenetic methods, which short-read or long-read sequencing technologies have not been able to do," he said. "In addition to its equivalency to the methods that are standard of care, presenters will illustrate how [optical genome mapping] with Saphyr finds additional variants missed by the traditional methods, which has led to diagnosing more patients and an increase in diagnostic yield."

Among the results presented was a study of the COVID-19 Host Genome SV Consortium on the detection of clinically significant structural variants in patients with severe COVID 19, published as a preprint in MedRxiv last week.

In addition, Bionano pointed out several users who are implementing Saphyr-based assays in routine clinical care.

For example, an investigator at Bambino Gesù Hospital in Rome, a large children's hospital, said their team is implementing an assay on the Saphyr system for routine diagnostic use in patients where standard cytogenetic testing or gene sequencing were unable to make a diagnosis.

Another team, at the University of Iowa, has implemented a Saphyr-based assay for Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy (FSHD) in its clinic to replace an older test based on Southern blotting, and a group at KU Leuven Hospital in Belgium plans to implement a Saphyr FSHD test for clinical use this spring.

Further, another team at KU Leuven Hospital is currently implementing a Saphyr-based assay for the routine diagnosis of B-cell and T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia to replace a multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) assay and to reduce the number of fluorescence in situ hybridization and PCR tests. In addition, the group plans to expand the test to acute myeloid leukemia and chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Also, a team at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University is working on a lab-developed test on Saphyr that is to be used as a confirmatory diagnostic assay for positive noninvasive prenatal tests and could replace the current gold standard, which combines karyotyping, FISH, and chromosomal microarrays.

Bionano's shares were trading up 22 percent at $8.47 in mid-day trade Friday.

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