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Leerink, Canaccord Initiate Coverage of HTG Molecular

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Leerink Partners and Canaccord Genuity today initiated coverage of HTG Molecular Diagnostics. Leerink gave the firm's shares an "Outperform" rating and an $18 price target while Canaccord gave them a "Buy" rating with a $17 price target.

Canaccord analyst Mark Massaro said in a report that HTG has the opportunity to be a leading player in the approximately $27 billion molecular profiling market, especially for oncology, which he estimated was more than $15 billion.

He added that based on the firm's existing relationships with pharmaceutical companies," HTG has a high probability of striking one or more companion diagnostics deals over the next couple years."

Leerink Analyst Dan Leonard said in a report that the firm's technology addresses an unmet need and that the firm could carve out a position in molecular profiling for oncology, where the market opportunity for its products could be large.

Leonard said that the adoption rate of the firm's products is the greatest risk, since commercialization of the Edge instrument is nascent.

HTG has developed a technology platform that it said can molecularly profile samples at a fraction of the size currently required by other technologies. The platform, called the HTG Edge, can analyze up to 2,500 genes from sample volumes as small as a single-micron section of tissue, or 12.5 microliters of liquid biopsies, according to the company.

HTG's shares on the Nasdaq were trading up less than 2 percent at $14.15 on Tuesday morning. The firm went public on May 6, with an offering price of $14 per share. Canaccord and Leerink were underwriters on the offering.

On Monday, HTG announced that its first quarter revenues increased 24 percent year over year. It added that it raised $44.2 million in net proceeds from its IPO.