NEW YORK – Investment bank Canaccord Genuity initiated coverage of proteomics firm Quantum-Si on Wednesday with a Buy rating and a price target of $13.
Analyst Kyle Mikson wrote in a note that the Guilford, Connecticut-based company is well positioned to benefit from increasing interest in proteomics and that the company's semiconductor-based protein sequencing technology could "deliver better resolution than existing and emerging technologies."
Mikson added that he believed Quantum-Si "will be the first company to commercialize a single-molecule protein sequencing platform." The firm will face competition on that front from a number of others, including Seattle-based Nautilus Biotechnology and San Diego-based Encodia.
Founded by Jonathan Rothberg, who also founded next-generation sequencing company Ion Torrent, Quantum-Si aims to similarly apply semiconductor chip technology to protein sequencing, allowing for single-molecule analysis of proteins, including post-translational modifications. Ultimately, the company plans to apply its technology to molecules other than proteins, including metabolites and nucleic acids.
Quantum-Si tackles protein sequencing by using probes to different amino acids, including modified amino acids, and observing the binding of those probes across proteins of interest. Key to the company's technology is that the semiconductor-based sensing device does not rely on observing the color of the probes for detection, but rather measures the timing of light emissions following excitation of the target molecules with a laser.
The proteomics startup debuted on the Nasdaq in June after closing a $1 billion-plus business combination with special purpose acquisition company HighCape Capital Acquisition.