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Strong Performance for Stocks of Foundation Medicine, Enzo Push GenomeWeb Index Up 2 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Shares of Foundation Medicine and Enzo Biochem each rose around 30 percent month over month in March, leading the GenomeWeb Index to a gain of around 2 percent.

The GW Index, which includes 26 firms in the omics tools and molecular diagnostics industries, outperformed the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which was down nearly 1 percent; the Nasdaq Composite, which was up a little more than 1 percent; and the Nasdaq Biotech Index, which finished March down 1 percent. Overall, 18 of the 26 stocks tracked in the GW Index made positive gains in the month.

Foundation Medicine led the gainers, continuing a strong start to 2017. In January the firm's stock price jumped 10 percent month over month, followed by a 27 percent rise in February. Through the end of March, its shares have risen 82 percent for the year.

In early March, investment bank Janney upgraded Foundation's shares to a Neutral rating, and the company said that it had received its first payment from Medicare Administrative Contractor Palmetto GBA for the Foundation One genomic profiling assay for Stage IIIB/IV non-small cell lung cancer.

It also inked a deal with Bristol-Myers Squibb to use Foundation One to profile tumor mutational burden and microsatellite instability in patients enrolled in clinical trials for Bristol-Myers Squibb's cancer drugs.

Enzo Biochem, which also saw its shares jump 30 percent, bounced back from a 3 percent drop in February. Mid-month the company reported that its fiscal second quarter revenues grew 7 percent year over year, and its President Barry Weiner said that the firm anticipates receiving approvals for several diagnostics from the New York State Department of Health this year.

Natera led the decliners for the month, falling 8 percent. Early in the month, it reported that its Q4 revenues dropped 7 percent year over year and fell short of analysts' consensus estimates on the top and bottom line.