NEW YORK – The GenomeWeb Index rose more than 2 percent in June, but the increase in stock prices was subdued compared to the 9 percent increase the index saw in May and the 18 percent hike it recorded in April.
The index performed on par with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index, which also rose 2 percent each, but it was outperformed by the Nasdaq, which rose 6 percent in June. Individual stock performances in the GenomeWeb Index were relatively mixed in June, as 18 of the 32 stocks saw gains and 14 saw losses.
Invitae led the gainers with an 80 percent increase in stock price, while GenMark Diagnostics (+55 percent) and Meridian Bioscience (+51 percent) came in second and third. June marked Meridian's third consecutive month on the list of top three performers — the company's stock price increased 29 percent in May and 43 percent in April. GenMark, meanwhile, had led the decliners in May with a 24 percent drop in stock price.
Myriad Genetics led the decliners in June with a 22 percent drop in stock price. Guardant Health and Waters rounded out the list of decreased stocks for the month dropping 10 percent each.
Invitae's shares climbed after the company said it would acquire privately held ArcherDx through a combination of 30 million shares of its common stock and $325 million in cash, plus an additional 27 million shares of common stock if certain milestones are achieved. The overall transaction is valued at approximately $1.4 billion.
Invitae is already a leader in genetic testing for assessing hereditary cancer risk. By combining with ArcherDx, the company will be able to add to its suite of services tumor profiling and liquid biopsy technologies for predicting and monitoring therapeutic response.
There didn't seem to be a specific reason for the climb in GenMark or Meridian's shares. GenMark's stock rose throughout the month — the company may have been seeing a retroactive benefit from the 80 percent year-over-year increase in Q1 revenues it reported in May.
GenMark also reported at the end of June that its ePlex Respiratory Pathogen 2 Panel is now available for US commercial distribution and clinical use. The panel is designed to provide results in less than two hours for SARS-CoV-2 and other common respiratory pathogens. The firm has submitted the panel to the US Food and Drug Administration for Emergency Use Authorization.
Myriad's shares fell in June after two Medicare Administrative Contractors released draft local coverage determinations denying a request from Myriad Genetic Laboratories to expand coverage of its EndoPredict breast cancer gene expression test.
The decisions from CGS Administrators and Wisconsin Physicians Service Insurance Corporation came after Myriad submitted additional data published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research and requested expanded access to the test for assessing the benefit of extended endocrine therapy (EET) for women with breast cancer.
The new draft LCDs said the test may help assess risk of late recurrence after endocrine therapy is finished, but it's unclear if the test is useful for identifying patients who should receive EET. The MACs noted that some of the data presented was not significant for the period studied and added that there isn't sufficient evidence the "test can clearly delineate patients who can benefit from EET."
Myriad also suffered a setback when a US federal court judge denied the company's attempt to dismiss a whistleblower lawsuit alleging that it had engaged in misconduct and fraud.