NEW YORK – Stocks of molecular diagnostics and omics companies were down in April despite a rise in the broader market.
Overall, the GenomeWeb Top 40 was down 3 percent. By comparison, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up a fraction above 2 percent, while the Nasdaq was essentially flat, and the Nasdaq Biotech Index was up nearly 2 percent. Of the 40 firms tracked by GenomeWeb, 30 saw their stock prices fall month over month, while 10 saw their share prices rise.
Quanterix led the winners, as its stock was up 12 percent month over month. There was no specific news that appeared to drive the gains, though the Billerica, Massachusetts-based protein research and diagnostics tools firm has made progress over the last year in the restructuring efforts it announced in August 2022. In a note to investors released at the end of March, TD Cowen analyst Dan Brennan said the company had "showed progress on [its] business realignment program," though he lowered the bank's revenue guidance for full-year 2024 and 2025.
Burning Rock Biotech posted the second-largest gain in April, with its stock up 11 percent month over month. At the end of March, the company reported that its Q4 2022 revenues were down roughly 4 percent year over year due to a resurgence of COVID-19 in China during the quarter. It posted strong growth in its pharma research and development services business, though, as revenues nearly tripled to RMB 27.7 million ($4.0 million) from RMB 9.5 million in the prior-year quarter.
Proteomics firm SomaLogic notched the third-largest gain in April, with its stock up 10 percent month over month. At the end of March, the company announced several leadership changes, with CEO Roy Smythe stepping down along with two members of the board of directors, Chuck Lillis and Ted Meisel. Adam Taich, formerly executive VP of life sciences, was promoted to interim CEO and appointed to SomaLogic's board along with Jason Ryan, Tycho Peterson, Kathy Hibbs, and Tom Carey.
During a conference call following release of the company's Q4 results, Taich said it had decided against spinning off its diagnostic business, a move it had been considering. He also said he hopes to expand the company's global business. In an April 17 note to investors, TD Cowen's Brennan said the bank sees "ample room for a better year in  under [its] new CEO."
Cue Health posted the largest decline during April, with its stock down 57 percent month over month. The month saw new lows for the San Diego-based diagnostic firm's stock, which has declined steadily since Cue went public in September 2021. In March, Cue reported that its Q4 2022 earnings were down 24 percent year over year, but at $54.4 million beat the consensus Wall Street estimate of $47.8 million.
Bionano Genomics posted the second-largest decline, with shares down 38 percent month over month. On April 24, the company said it was withdrawing its applications for category I current procedural terminology (CPT) codes for its optical genome mapping technology ahead of the May 2023 CPT Editorial Panel meeting, during which the company’s applications would have been reviewed.
It said the withdrawal was to mitigate the possibility of OGM being assigned category III CPT codes instead of category I CPT codes, which could negatively impact reimbursement. The company also said it expects Q1 2023 revenues of between $7.3 million and $7.5 million, up between 28 percent and 32 percent year over year and beating the consensus Wall Street estimate of $7.1 million.
Adaptive Biotechnologies posted the third-largest decline in April, with its shares down 19 percent. On April 12, the company terminated its Chief Operating Officer Mark Adams, giving his duties to company President Julie Rubinstein. It also announced a collaboration with Takeda to use its ClonoSeq assay to evaluate minimal residual disease (MRD) to help in the development and commercialization of Takeda's pipeline of treatments for patients with lymphoid malignancies.
|GenomeWeb Top 40|
|Burning Rock Biotech||BNR||3.11||2.81||10.68|
|Thermo Fisher Scientific||TMO||554.90||576.37||-3.73|
|GenomeWeb Top 40 Average||76.68||79.38||-3.40|
*Agilent Technologies paid a dividend of $.225 on April 3.
**PerkinElmer paid a dividend of $.07 on April 20.