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Following Rally, Omics Tools and MDx Stocks Cool in February

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Following a run-up in the stock prices of many omics tools and molecular diagnostics firms at the beginning of 2013, investor enthusiasm cooled in February.

The GenomeWeb Daily News Index, which tracks the stocks of 30 companies operating in the molecular research tools and diagnostics fields, was nearly flat with January's close and failed to keep pace with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Biotech Index, which both were up more than 1 percent, and the broader Nasdaq market, which gained .6 percent for the month of February.

Leading the gainers for the month was Accelerate Diagnostics, which closed up 22 percent for the month. Its shares have risen steadily since the beginning of the year despite any noticeable catalysts.

Bio-Rad Laboratories (+8 percent) and Affymetrix (+7 percent) posted the next biggest increases for February. Both Bio-Rad and Affy beat analysts' estimates on the top and bottom line for their fourth quarter results. Affymetrix also filed its CytoScan cytogenetics platform with the US Food and Drug Administration during the month.

Nanosphere led decliners for the month, dropping around 31 percent. In mid-February the firm reported that its full-year revenues more than doubled as it trimmed its annual loss, and it named a new CEO and replaced several board members, sending its shares tumbling.

Other firms in the GWDN Index that saw a double-digit drop during the month were CombiMatrix (-24 percent) and Life Technologies (-10 percent). Shares of Life Tech declined after reports during the month threw cold water on a potential acquisition of leveraged buyput of the firm.