NEW YORK – Stocks of molecular diagnostics and omics companies were essentially flat in May, stabilizing after broad losses in April.
Overall, the GenomeWeb Top 40 was down less than 1 percent. In comparison, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up a fraction of a percent from April, while the Nasdaq was down 2 percent and the Nasdaq Biotech Index was down 1 percent. Of the 40 firms tracked by GenomeWeb, 23 saw their stock prices drop month over month, and 17 saw shares increase in value.
In a reversal of fortune, last month’s biggest loser, proteomics firm Seer, which posted a 52 percent decline in stock price in April, was May’s biggest winner, up 22 percent month over month. Some of that momentum likely stemmed from the company’s Q1 2022 earnings release at the beginning of the month, in which it reported $3.3 million in revenues, up from $62,000 in Q1 2021. During a conference call to discuss the results, Omid Farokhzad, Seer's chairman and CEO, said that the company delivered the first three orders of its Proteograph Product Suite proteomic platform during the quarter as part of its broad commercial release.
Twist Bioscience posted the second largest gain in stock price, up 18 percent month over month. At the beginning of May, the company reported that its fiscal second quarter revenues were up 54 percent year over year to $48.1 million, beating the consensus Wall Street estimate of $45.3 million.
Also in May, Interpace Biosciences announced that it has partnered with Twist and Miroculus to automate next-generation sequencing library preparation using digital microfluidics technology for cancer testing. The parties will integrate Twist’s library prep and hybridization capture chemistries with Miroculus’ digital microfluidics instrument, the Miro Canvas, to automate Interpace’s custom NGS panels.
Bruker posted the third largest gain in stock price in May, with shares up 9 percent. During the month, Bruker reported Q1 2022 revenues of $595.0 million, up 7 percent from $554.7 million in Q1 2021 and beating analysts' consensus estimate of $572.6 million. The company also increased its 2022 revenue guidance, projecting revenue growth of 5 percent to 7 percent and organic revenue growth between 7 percent and 9 percent, an increase from a previous projection of 6 percent to 8 percent.
On the flip side, Chinese precision oncology firm Burning Rock Biotech saw the largest drop in stock price during May, with shares down 56 percent. The company’s stock price is now down 77 percent since the start of the year. This week, it reported Q1 2022 revenues of RMB 135.5 million ($21.4 million), up 27 percent versus RMB 106.6 million in Q1 2021. Burning Rock Chief Operating Officer Shannon Chuai noted during a conference call that COVID-19 restrictions in China had delayed its PREDICT and PREVENT studies for its minimal residual disease detection assay, BrPROPHET.
Sophia Genetics posted the second largest decline in stock price during May, with shares down 35 percent. The company reported Q1 2022 revenue of $10.9 million, up 21 percent from $9.0 million in Q1 2021. It also maintained its previous full year 2022 revenue guidance of $51.5 million to $54 million, noting that it “remains comfortable” with the low end of that guidance.
Guardant Health reported a 34 percent drop in share price during May, the third largest decline by a GenomeWeb Top 40 firm during the month. At the beginning of May, the company reported Q1 2022 revenues of $96.1 million, up 22 percent from $78.7 million in Q1 2021 and beating the consensus Wall Street estimate of $95.7 million. Later in the month, Guardant launched its blood-based colorectal cancer screening test, Shield; however, it pushed the timeline for reporting results from the ECLIPSE trial, intended to support regulatory submissions for the test, from the middle of the year to the second half of 2022.
Guardant’s legal battle with Illumina, its primary competitor in the cancer liquid biopsy space, continues. In March, Illumina sued Guardant in the US District Court for the District of Delaware for correction of inventorship, trade secret misappropriation, and breach of contract. Last week, Guardant filed motions to change the venue and dismiss the lawsuit, claiming that Illumina aims through the suit to "put its chief rival out of business and stifle competition in the market for life-saving cancer technologies."
|GenomeWeb Top 40|
|Burning Rock Biotech||BNR||2.40||5.51||-56.44|
|Thermo Fisher Scientific||TMO||567.57||552.92||2.65|
|GenomeWeb Top 40 Average||90.02||90.25||-0.25|
|*Bio-Techne paid a dividend of $.32 on May 13|
|**Bruker paid a dividend of $.05 on May 31|