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Nanosphere, Rosetta Genomics Lead Strong Month for GWDN Index

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The stocks of Nanosphere and Rosetta Genomics rose more than 30 percent each during March to lead a strong month for firms in the GenomeWeb Daily News Index of molecular research and diagnostic product vendors.

Nanosphere's stock rose steadily through the month and finished up 35 percent. Though there were few apparent catalysts for the jump, in mid-March the firm's Verigene SP respiratory virus panel was categorized by the US Food and Drug Administration as "moderate complexity" under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988, potentially opening the test up to a much larger market.

Rosetta Genomics' shares gained 32 percent for the month of March. The company announced last week that its labs have received accreditation from the College of American Pathologists' Laboratory Accreditation Program. The molecular diagnostics maker currently markets three microRNA-based tests.

Leading the six stocks in the GWDN Index that lost value during the month was Helicos BioSciences. The firm's shares fell 22 percent as investors awaited its fourth-quarter and full-year 2009 financial results, which were not released. On Wednesday, Helicos filed notification with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that its results would be delayed as the firm reviewed the application of accounting principles related to a possible asset impairment charge.

Early in the month, an investment bank dropped coverage of Helicos, citing both long-term and short-term challenges the firm faces in gaining market share.

Overall, the GWDN Index increased around 7 percent for March, matching gains for the Nasdaq and Nasdaq Biotech Index. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 5 percent.

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