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Bank Ups Revenue Estimate on Sequenom

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - Investment bank Jefferies has increased its full-year 2012 revenue estimate for Sequenom to $85 million from a previous $76 million on better-than-espected early adoption of the firm's T21 test.

Speaking at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco yesterday, Sequenom Chairman and CEO Harry Hixson said the firm's Center for Molecular Medicine has billed for more than 1,000 MaterniT21 tests since its launch in mid-October. In addition, he set a goal of 25,000 T21 tests billed in 2012.

Jefferies analyst Jon Wood said in a research note that the early adoption of the test was well ahead of the bank's forecast of around 300 tests. In addition, the goal of billing 25,000 tests this year suggests a 3 percent penetration of the roughly 750,000 annual high-risk pregnancies in the US.

Wood said the test is currently running at an annualized trajectory of more than 9,000 units, which should accelerate through this year. He expects T21 to contribute around $21 million to Sequenom's 2012 revenues, based on 16,250 billed tests.

In addition to the positive news surrounding the T21 test, Sequenom also pre-announced fourth-quarter revenue growth of greater than 30 percent, which also was higher than Wall Street's expectations.

Wood maintained a $7 price target on Sequenom's shares, however, due to the firm's plans to raise funds within the first half of this year.

Separately, Oppenheimer published a research note saying that given the adoption rate of the T21 test thus far and Sequenom's stated goal for 2012 its T21 revenue estimate of $15.2 million for the year is likely conservative.

Oppenheimer did not update its revenues estimate of $71.5 million for Sequenom in 2012 or its price target of $9 on the firm's stock.

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