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Cantor Fitzgerald Initiates Coverage of Trovagene with Buy Rating

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Cantor Fitzgerald on Monday initiated coverage of molecular diagnostics firm Trovagene with a Buy rating and a $10 price target on the company's stock.

In a research report, analyst Sung Ji Nam said that the San Diego-based firm's technology platform is capable of analyzing systemic cell-free DNA and RNA isolated from urine and could be used as a non-invasive diagnostic with applications across multiple disease areas and health conditions, including cancer, infectious diseases, transplant medicine, and prenatal diagnostics.

Research around the use of circulating biomarkers, such as circulating tumor cells and cell-free nucleic acids as surrogates for tumor tissue biopsies and/or radiological imaging is growing, Nam said, and "[g]iven compelling early data … associated with Trovagene's transrenal nucleic acid (trNA) assays, we think there will be increased interest among leading cancer centers in further exploring trNA for clinical utility."

She said that further clinical validation of the technology is necessary and acknowledged that the reimbursement landscape is challenging for "novel, complex diagnostics," but added that the market potential for Trovagene's trNA assays as liquid biopsies to complement or replace tumor tissue biopsies is significant, "particularly in situations where tissue biopsies are highly invasive or costly."

Ultimately, Trovagene's assays could be used as tools for cancer screening, prognosis, and treatment, Nam said.

She also cited recent deals the company has signed with Illumina to assess Trovagene's technology and with PerkinElmer to develop assays, and said in her report that because of the potential of Trovagene's transrenal molecular diagnostic platform in other disease areas, she believes Trovagene will pursue other partnerships focused on development and commercialization.

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