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GenomeWeb Index Gains 2 Percent in September Led by Quanterix

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The GenomeWeb Index rose for a sixth straight month in September, gaining nearly 2 percent, though it fell off from its gains of 8 percent in July and August.

The index underperformed the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which gained 2 percent, but outperformed the Nasdaq, which lost 0.8 percent, and the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index, which was down a fraction of a percent. Stock performance in the September GenomeWeb Index was largely positive as 17 of the 28 stocks saw gains and 11 saw losses.

Quanterix took the top spot in September with a 28 percent increase in share price, while CareDx (+19 percent) and Genomic Health (+15 percent) rounded out the top three gainers. This is the second month CareDx appears in the top three gainers list — in August, it took the top spot with an 81 percent increase in share price.

The biggest loser in September was Veracyte, whose shares declined 25 percent. Quidel (-15 percent) and GenMark Diagnostics (-14 percent) completed the list of bottom-three performers.

Quanterix's shares rose after it announced it had terminated a license agreement with BioMérieux the two companies had signed in 2012. The license had covered commercialization of Quanterix's Simoa immunoassay technology for in vitro diagnostic purposes. With its termination, Quanterix regained control of this portion of its intellectual property.

In a note to investors, Cowen analyst Doug Schenkel suggested ending the agreement would benefit Quanterix in the long term by allowing it "to accelerate its entrance into the IVD market at more attractive terms" while also letting it pursue partnerships with other IVD firms. It also makes the company "a more attractive target for a strategic acquirer," he noted.

CareDx, meanwhile, saw its shares rise after it announced the launch of its Surveillance HeartCare Outcomes Registry — a prospective, multi-center, observational, registry of patients receiving surveillance with the firm's HeartCare rejection surveillance solution for heart transplant recipients.

Veracyte's stock dropped steadily throughout September, despite receiving a draft Medicare local coverage determination through MolDx for its Envisia Genomic Classifier test at the end of August. "The evidence supporting use of the Envisia classifier met MolDx's high bar for coverage and strongly positions us to expand commercialization of the test in 2019," Veracyte CEO Bonnie Anderson said in a statement at the time.