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GenomeWeb Top 40 Down 8 Percent in April, Following Broader Market

NEW YORK – Stocks of omics and molecular diagnostics companies were down in April, tracking the trend in the broader market.

Overall, the GenomeWeb Top 40 was down 8 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 5 percent, the Nasdaq lost 4 percent, and the Nasdaq Biotech Index lost 6 percent. Of the 40 firms tracked by GenomeWeb, 37 saw their stock prices decline month over month, while three saw their shares increase in value.

NanoString Technologies led the winners, as its stock price jumped more than twofold month over month following the news that Bruker will acquire the company for roughly $392.6 million in cash. NanoString filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February following its loss in a patent infringement suit filed by 10x Genomics. The Bruker acquisition provides a quick resolution to NanoString's restructuring.

Seer posted the second-largest gain during April, with its shares up 9 percent from March. There was no clear driver for the rise in the company's stock price.

Natera posted the third-largest gain, with shares up 2 percent month over month. Early in April, the company's shares rose on positive news about its Signatera minimal residual disease test. Natera had announced at the European Association of Urology Congress annual meeting that muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) patients who tested serially negative with Signatera after surgery in the Phase III IMvigor011 trial had 100 percent overall survival after 12 months, suggesting they may not need adjuvant therapy.

Also in April, investment bank Craig-Hallum initiated coverage of Natera with a Buy rating and a price target of $117. Analyst Bill Bonello said in a note to investors that the Austin, Texas-based firm is a well-run company with the potential for both long-term revenue growth and positive near-term catalysts.

Pacific Biosciences posted the largest decline in its stock price during April, with shares down 56 percent from March. During the month, PacBio announced preliminary Q1 2024 revenues below expectations and lowered its guidance for 2024 revenues and instrument placements. It also revealed plans to cut its annual operating cost by $50 million to $75 million by year's end.

Following that announcement, investment bank JP Morgan downgraded the company from an Overweight to a Neutral rating and withdrew its price target. JP Morgan analyst Rachel Vatnsdal said in a note to investors that while the bank continues "to have confidence in the sequencing market and believe that [PacBio] is the best way to capitalize on long-read sequencing trends over the long term, we believe that shares of [PacBio] will continue to be pressured in the near term as investors look for execution and data points demonstrating the market opportunity for Revio and long-read sequencing remains intact."

This week, PacBio said it has laid off 195 employees as part of its cost cuts and will be closing its San Diego location.

Quanterix posted the second-largest decline during April, with shares down 32 percent month over month. There was no clear driver of the decline, though the company has recently seen increased competition for its plasma phosphorylated-tau 217 assay for Alzheimer's disease, an important growth driver for the firm. Laboratory Corporation of America brought a competing assay to market in March, and Quest Diagnostics launched its own assay in April.

Quanterix held an investor call last month in which it asserted that companies testing for tau proteins in blood at certain levels of sensitivity might be infringing on its intellectual property, but the defensibility of its claims is unclear.

CareDx posted the third-largest decline during the month, with shares down 27 percent. There was no clear driver of the decline. The company did announce a leadership change in April, appointing John Hanna, former CEO of Apton Biosystems, as president, CEO, and a member of its board of directors.

GenomeWeb Top 40        
Company Ticker 30-Apr-24 31-Mar-24 % change
Adaptive Biotechnologies ADPT 2.62 3.21 -18.38
Agilent Technologies* A 137.04 145.51 -5.82
Akoya Biosciences AKYA 3.82 4.69 -18.55
Azenta AZTA 52.46 60.28 -12.97
Becton Dickinson BDX 234.60 247.45 -5.19
Biodesix BDSX 1.24 1.43 -13.29
Bio-Rad Laboratories BIO 269.75 345.87 -22.01
Bio-Techne TECH 63.21 70.39 -10.20
Bruker BRKR 78.01 93.94 -16.96
CareDx CDNA 7.76 10.59 -26.72
Castle Biosciences CSTL 21.09 22.15 -4.79
Cytek CTKB 6.01 6.71 -10.43
Danaher DHR 246.62 249.72 -1.24
Exact Sciences EXAS 59.35 69.06 -14.06
Fulgent Genetics FLGT 20.35 21.70 -6.22
Ginkgo Bioworks DNA 0.89 1.16 -23.28
Guardant Health GH 18.00 20.63 -12.75
Hologic HOLX 75.77 77.96 -2.81
Illumina ILMN 123.05 137.32 -10.39
MDxHealth MDXH 2.50 2.59 -3.47
Myriad Genetics MYGN 19.57 21.32 -8.21
NanoString Technologies NSTG 0.26 0.08 225.00
Natera NTRA 92.88 91.46 1.55
NeoGenomics Laboratories NEO 13.92 15.72 -11.45
Olink OLK 23.03 23.51 -2.04
OraSure OSUR 5.29 6.15 -13.98
Pacific Biosciences PACB 1.65 3.75 -56.00
Qiagen QGEN 42.33 42.99 -1.54
Quanterix QTRX 16.12 23.56 -31.58
Quantum-Si QSI 1.61 1.97 -18.27
QuidelOrtho QDEL 40.55 47.94 -15.42
Revvity** RVTY 102.47 105.00 -2.41
Seer SEER 2.08 1.90 9.47
Standard BioTools LAB 2.48 2.71 -8.49
Thermo Fisher Scientific TMO 568.72 581.21 -2.15
Twist Bioscience TWST 31.23 34.31 -8.98
Veracyte VCYT 19.57 22.16 -11.69
Waters WAT 309.04 344.23 -10.22
23andMe ME 0.50 0.53 -5.66
10x Genomics TXG 29.28 37.53 -21.98
GenomeWeb Top 40 Average   68.67 75.01 -8.45
*Agilent Technologies paid a dividend of $.24 on April 1.        
**Revvity paid a dividend of $.07 on April 18.