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Sequenom Shares Jump 62 Percent in Strong February for GWDN Index

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Shares of Sequenom rose 62 percent during the month of February — boosted by the launch of a couple of molecular diagnostic tests — to lead all of the 33 stocks in the GenomeWeb Daily News Index.

The San Diego-based firm was one of four stocks in the Index that gained more than 20 percent for the month. The others included Affymetrix (+38 percent), Millipore (+37 percent), and Caliper Life Sciences (+23 percent).

Meanwhile, Nanosphere had the biggest decline among the stocks, dropping 36 percent for the month.

During February, Sequenom launched two tests that will be offered through its CLIA lab, the Sequenom Center for Molecular Medicine. Those tests are its SensiGene Fetal RHD Genotyping test and its SensiGene Fetal (XY) test.

The spike in Sequenom's shares helped the firm breach the $5 mark for the first time since late September 2009. At that time, the firm had announced the dismissal of its CEO and other top executives in the wake of an investigation into the mishandling of test data on its Down Syndrome test.

Millipore's late-month surge was the result of a report last week from Bloomberg that Thermo Fisher Scientific had made a $6 billion bid to acquire the firm. However, as reported by GWDN earlier today, German firm Merck KGaA has inked a definitive deal to acquire Millipore for $7.2 billion, sending Millipore's shares up 11 percent to $104.95 in Monday afternoon trade.

Affymetrix's shares climbed higher after the firm reported early in the month that its fourth-quarter revenues increased 13 percent and beat analysts' consensus estimate.

Nanosphere's shares dropped sharply last week after it reported fourth-quarter revenues of $828,000 and a net loss of $9.1 million.

Overall, the GWDN Index increased 6 percent for February. In comparison, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 3 percent, the Nasdaq was up 4 percent, and the Nasdaq Biotech Index gained 2 percent.