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Cowen, JP Morgan Initiate Coverage of Seer With Outperform, Overweight Ratings

This article has been updated to add JP Morgan's coverage initiation of Seer.

NEW YORK — Investment banks Cowen and JP Morgan said on Tuesday that they have initiated coverage of Seer. Cowen started its coverage with an Outperform rating and JP Morgan with an Overweight rating and a Dec. 2021 price target of $75.

Redwood City, California-based Seer's Proteograph system uses nanoparticle-based enrichment of proteins in samples like human plasma to enable deeper proteomic discovery experiments at high throughput. The technology is based on the observation that when incubated in a biological sample, nanoparticles collect proteins, which form a "corona," allowing researchers to enrich proteins in a sample, which they can then identify and quantify using technologies like mass spec.

In a note to investors, Cowen analyst Doug Schenkel highlighted the company's potential for enabling "proteomics studies at scale," allowing for more comprehensive proteomic measurements with an automated platform that interfaces easily with existing mass specs as well as emerging new technologies for protein measurement.

"We believe Seer’s approach could outpace existing traditional approaches and has already been established as a high-quality and incrementally valuable tool by some key opinion leaders," the analyst and his colleagues wrote.

In a separate note to investors, JP Morgan analyst Tycho Peterson and colleagues wrote that with a total addressable market of more than $50 billion and low adoption hurdles, "Seer is poised to drive a proteomics revolution, just as next-gen sequencing has revolutionized genomics research and created massive downstream applications over the past decade."

In December, Seer raised $310 million in an initial public offering and concurrent private financing. The company has reached collaboration agreements with two undisclosed research sites where it will place its Proteograph platform and plans to add to up to two additional collaboration sites as part of an initial push to move the system into the field.

In a study published this summer in Nature Communications — the first peer-reviewed publication demonstrating its technology — Seer scientists and affiliated researchers used a version of the platform featuring five nanoparticles to analyze 141 plasma samples from non-small cell lung cancer patients and healthy controls, identifying more than 2,000 proteins.

In Tuesday morning trade on the Nasdaq, shares of Seer were down 14 percent at $55.60.