NEW YORK – Stocks of molecular diagnostics and omics companies were up in June, following the broader market.
Overall, the GenomeWeb Top 40 was up 3 percent. By comparison, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 5 percent, while the Nasdaq was up 7 percent, and the Nasdaq Biotech Index was essentially flat. Of the 40 firms tracked by GenomeWeb, 16 saw their stock prices fall month over month, and 24 saw their share prices rise.
Twist Bioscience led the winners in June, as its stock price was up 35 percent month over month. The company launched a new RNA fusion panel with CeGaT but otherwise reported little news that appeared to drive the gains. In a note to investors, investment bank TD Cowen highlighted the company as "oversold and poised to outperform," noting that its "ability to manufacture DNA cheaply and at scale addresses a key bottleneck in synthetic biology R&D inputs."
Akoya Biosciences posted the second-largest rise in June, with its stock price up 31 percent month over month. The company's shares rose on the news that it would reduce its headcount as part of cost-savings initiatives and that it was raising $43.5 million in a public offering. In a note to investors, UBS analyst John Sourbeer said that the additional funds "should remove a key overhang on the stock." He added that the bank sees "numerous factors that could benefit consumable revenue over the coming quarters, leading to potential multiple expansion[s]."
Guardant Health reported the third-largest gain, with its stock price up 22 percent month over month. In a note to investors, BTIG analyst Mark Massaro reiterated the bank's Buy rating and $50 price target for the company, calling its screening and MRD segments "enormous market opportunities."
Cue Health posted the largest decline in June, with its stock down 51 percent month over month. The company's stock fell despite news at the beginning of the month that its at-home molecular test for COVID-19 received de novo marketing authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration, making it the first over-the-counter test for COVID-19 to receive authorization through a traditional FDA pathway.
Castle Biosciences saw the second-largest drop in stock price, with shares down 44 percent month over month. During the month, multiple Medicare Administrative Contractors under the MolDx program released draft local coverage determinations denying coverage for the company's test for squamous cell carcinoma. Additionally, the MAC Novitas Solutions rescinded coverage for Castle Bio's DecisionDx-Melanoma and DecisionDx-SCC tests.
NanoString Technologies had the third-largest drop in price, with shares down 31 percent month over month. The company is embroiled in a European patent infringement lawsuit with competitor 10x Genomics, which has alleged that NanoString's CosMx products infringe upon two of its European patents. In May, 10x won a permanent injunction against the sale of the CosMx Spatial Molecular Imager and reagents for RNA analysis, but not protein analysis, in a German court. NanoString has said it will appeal that decision.
In a note to investors, Canaccord Genuity analyst Kyle Mikson reiterated the bank's Buy rating and $15 price target for NanoString, suggesting that concerns about the lawsuits "have been overblown."
|GenomeWeb Top 40|
|Burning Rock Biotech||BNR||2.15||2.61||-17.62|
|Thermo Fisher Scientific****||TMO||521.75||508.46||2.61|
|GenomeWeb Top 40 Average||73.30||71.10||3.09|
*Agilent paid a dividend of $.225 on June 30.
**Becton Dickinson paid a dividend of $.91 on June 8.
***Danaher paid a dividend of $.27 on June 29.
****Thermo Fisher Scientific paid a dividend of $.35 on June 14.