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PacBio Shares Rise Sharply Again Amid Relatively Quiet Month for Omics/MDx Stocks

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – While some stocks in the GenomeWeb Index saw significant gains in December, it was a relatively quiet month for MDx/Omics stocks overall.

The Index rose less than 2 percent last month compared to an increase of 7 percent in November, but it outpaced the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq (down nearly 2 percent each) and the Nasdaq Biotech Index (up around 1 percent).

Pacific Biosciences led the winners in December with a 28 percent stock price increase following a 44 percent jump in the previous month. The company announced last month that it had reached the final developmental milestone of its commercialization and licensing agreement with Roche for the commercialization and sale of clinical diagnostics products based on PacBio's Single Molecule, Real Time technology. Roche paid PacBio $20 million for reaching the milestone, the company said.

Foundation Medicine and Natera also saw big increases last month, with their shares rising nearly 24 percent and 22 percent, respectively. Foundation Medicine announced a partnership with Mirati Therapeutics that could lead to the development of a companion diagnostic for Mirati's investigational drug glesatinib. The company also announced that UnitedHealthcare would begin covering its genomic profiling assay for patients with metastatic stage IV non-small cell lung cancer.

Sequenom and T2 Biosystems led the losers in December, falling 8 percent and 7 percent, respectively. Early in December, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit denied Sequenom's request to reconsider the validity of a patent covering noninvasive prenatal DNA testing that was exclusively licensed to the company.