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GenomeWeb Top 40 Up 11 Percent in December, Tracking Rise in Broader Market

Stock Market Percentages

NEW YORK – Stocks of molecular diagnostics and omics companies were up in December, in step with a rise in the broader market.

Overall, the GenomeWeb Top 40 was up 11 percent. By comparison, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 5 percent, while the Nasdaq rose 6 percent, and the Nasdaq Biotech Index was up 13 percent. Of the 40 firms tracked by GenomeWeb, 36 saw their stock prices rise month over month, and four saw shares drop in value.

Twist Bioscience led the winners, as its stock was up 53 percent month over month. This marked the second straight month the company’s stock price increased by more than 50 percent as it continues to ride momentum from strong Q3 financial results.

In a December note to investors, TD Cowen analyst Steven Mah highlighted Twist as the bank’s "Best Idea for 2024," noting that the bank believes the stock "is oversold and poised to outperform given what we believe to be very conservative guidance in addition to multiple tailwinds" in 2024.

Mah said the bank believes Twist's "ability to manufacture DNA cheaply and at scale addresses a key bottleneck in synthetic biology R&D inputs" and that it also expects the company to take additional share in next-generation sequencing products.

NanoString Technologies posted the second-largest gain in stock price in December with shares up 50 percent month over month. While large in percentage terms, the company's low trading price makes it subject to dramatic swings. NanoString's stock price has dropped precipitously in recent months following losses in patent infringement disputes with competitor 10x Genomics.

In November, 10x won a $31 million verdict against NanoString after a Delaware jury found the latter firm’s GeoMx Digital Spatial Profiler infringed seven patents held by 10x that are exclusively licensed from Prognosys Biosciences. 10x also said that in post-trial proceedings it intends to seek royalties on sales of GeoMx products since Oct. 13, treble damages and attorneys' fees, and a permanent injunction barring the manufacture, use, and sale of GeoMx products in the US.

This defeat followed a preliminary injunction 10x won in the European Unified Patent Court that will prevent NanoString Technologies from selling its CosMx high-resolution spatial biology platform and associated RNA detection reagents in Europe.

Personalis posted the third-largest gain in stock price during the month with shares up 37 percent.

The company announced at the beginning of the month that it was laying off up to 65 employees, or roughly 20 percent of its workforce. Expected to be completed by the end of January, the cuts will save the company an estimated $14 million in fiscal 2024.

The announcement followed a marketing deal the company inked at the end of November with Tempus Labs, under which the parties will jointly commercialize Personalis' NeXT Personal Dx minimal residual disease assay.

Under the agreement, Tempus will integrate the tumor-informed, whole-genome liquid biopsy assay into its testing menu and market it to oncologists while also paying Personalis up to $12 million in milestone payments to help fund the lab-developed test's clinical evidence development.

Personalis, meanwhile, will compensate Tempus for the fair market value of sales, marketing, order requisition, and results delivery services and will provide Tempus with warrants to purchase up to approximately 9.2 million shares of Personalis' common stock over the next 24 months.

In a note to investors, TD Cowen analyst Dan Brennan said the deal "significantly strengthened" Personalis' "commercial capability."

On Dec. 22, the company filed a $200 million mixed shelf securities offering with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. It said it intends to use any proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes with the potential for in-licensing and acquisitions.

Cue Health posted the largest decline in December with shares down 54 percent month over month. The company continues to struggle as demand for COVID-19 testing wanes, though it has three new tests under review at the US Food and Drug Administration: a combination COVID-19 and influenza test, an influenza test, and a respiratory syncytial virus test.

NeoGenomics Laboratories posted the second-largest decline in stock price with shares down 11 percent month over month. The company's stock took a hit at the end of December when the US District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina issued a preliminary injunction as part of Natera’s patent infringement lawsuit against NeoGenomics and its minimal residual disease assay, Radar.

The order bars the "making, using, selling, or offering for sale in the US" of the assay. It also prohibits NeoGenomics from promoting or advertising Radar. NeoGenomics may continue to offer the assay for existing patients and for clinical trials, research studies, and projects already in process.

Following the ruling, NeoGenomics’ stock, which had been trading in the $20 range, dropped and closed the month at $16.18. In a note to investors, TD Cowen’s Brennan said the bank was lowering its price target to $19 from $22.

SomaLogic posted the third-largest decline with shares down 10 percent month over month.

During the month, proteomics firm Nautilus Biotechnology filed a complaint in the US District Court for the Northern District of California asking for declaratory judgment of noninfringement on a patent covering intellectual property held by proteomics firm SomaLogic.

According to the complaint, SomaLogic has informed Nautilus that it believes aspects of its proteome analysis platform infringe on DNA origami technology that SomaLogic has licensed from the California Institute of Technology.

SomaLogic has also met resistance regarding its proposed merger with Standard BioTools. In a complaint filed Dec. 13 in the Delaware Court of Chancery, SomaLogic Cofounder and former CEO Larry Gold and current Chief Technology Officer Jason Cleveland alleged that the company's board had neglected its fiduciary duty in negotiating the deal and that it represented a conflict of interest for Eli Casdin, a major shareholder and board member with both companies.

GenomeWeb Top 40        
Company Ticker 31-Dec-23 30-Nov-23 % change
Adaptive Biotechnologies ADPT 4.90 4.38 11.87
Agilent Technologies* A 139.03 127.80 8.79
Akoya Biosciences AKYA 4.88 4.39 11.16
Becton Dickinson** BDX 243.83 236.18 3.24
Bionano Genomics BNGO 1.89 1.59 18.87
Bio-Rad Laboratories BIO 322.89 304.92 5.89
Bio-Techne TECH 77.16 62.90 22.67
Bruker BRKR 73.48 65.09 12.89
Burning Rock Biotech BNR 0.93 0.83 12.05
CareDx CDNA 12.00 9.71 23.58
Castle Biosciences CSTL 21.58 19.99 7.95
Cue Health HLTH 0.16 0.35 -54.29
Danaher*** DHR 231.34 223.31 3.60
Exact Sciences EXAS 73.98 64.00 15.59
Fulgent Genetics FLGT 28.91 27.58 4.82
Ginkgo Bioworks DNA 1.69 1.29 31.01
Guardant Health GH 27.05 25.17 7.47
Hologic HOLX 71.45 71.30 0.21
Illumina ILMN 139.24 101.95 36.58
Invitae NVTA 0.63 0.51 23.53
Myriad Genetics MYGN 19.14 19.09 0.26
NanoString Technologies NSTG 0.75 0.50 50.00
Natera NTRA 62.64 55.95 11.96
NeoGenomics Laboratories NEO 16.18 18.17 -10.95
Olink OLK 25.15 25.85 -2.71
Pacific Biosciences PACB 9.81 8.48 15.68
Personalis PSNL 2.10 1.53 37.25
Qiagen QGEN 43.43 41.16 5.52
Quanterix QTRX 27.34 23.97 14.06
Quantum-Si QSI 2.01 1.61 24.84
QuidelOrtho QDEL 73.70 68.73 7.23
Revvity RVTY 109.31 88.90 22.96
Seer SEER 1.94 1.61 20.50
SomaLogic SLGC 2.53 2.82 -10.28
Thermo Fisher Scientific**** TMO 530.79 495.76 7.07
Twist Bioscience TWST 36.86 24.05 53.26
Veracyte VCYT 27.51 25.60 7.46
Waters WAT 329.23 280.61 17.33
23andMe ME 0.91 0.86 5.81
10x Genomics TXG 55.96 43.52 28.58
GenomeWeb Top 40 Average   71.36 64.55 10.55

*Agilent Technologies paid a dividend of $.236 on Dec. 29.

**Becton Dickinson paid a dividend of $.95 on Dec. 7.

***Danaher paid a dividend of $.24 on Dec. 28.

****Thermo Fisher Scientific paid a dividend of $.35 on Dec. 14.