NEW YORK – After trending downward through most of 2021, the 360Dx Index maintained its upward trend in July, as it rose 5 percent month over month, following a return to the black in June.
In the broader markets, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq ticked up 1 percent from June, while the Nasdaq Biotech Index was virtually flat.
The 360Dx Index's largest gainers last month were Bio-Rad Laboratories (+15 percent), Hologic (+12 percent), and Veracyte (+11 percent). The decliners were led by Genetron Health (-29 percent), Burning Rock Biotech (-23 percent), and Invitae (-17 percent).
Luminex was removed from the index after its acquisition by DiaSorin was completed last month.
The biggest reason for Bio-Rad's growth during July was the announcement of its second quarter earnings results, as the firm saw its revenues increase 33 percent, beating the consensus Wall Street estimate. That growth was driven by strong performance in both its life science and clinical diagnostics divisions.
Bio-Rad also received positive regulatory news last month, with its BioPlex 2200 SARS-CoV-2 IgG test receiving Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration and its Reliance SARS-CoV-2/FluA/FluB RT-PCR Kit garnering CE marking.
Early in July, Hercules, California-based Bio-Rad announced a partnership with South Korean firm Seegene to develop and commercialize multiplex molecular diagnostic tests for infectious diseases.
Hologic also announced solid earnings results last month for its fiscal third quarter. Revenues rose 42 percent despite decreasing demand for its Panther COVID-19 tests. Diagnostics revenues continued to rise, up 25 percent year over year. Throughout the year, the firm has been using its cash from the COVID-19 pandemic to go on a buying spree, with acquisitions of three companies so far in 2021.
JP Morgan analyst Tycho Peterson wrote in a note after the earnings were announced that he believed that "investors can look toward clear momentum in the base business," which is "well positioned to capitalize off the bolus of new Panther placements installed globally, recent acquisitions, and a dominant position in women's health."
The Marlborough, Massachusetts-based company also received CE marking for the use of saliva samples with its Aptima SARS-CoV-2 molecular test last month. Hologic was upgraded to Outperform from In Line by Evercore ISI due to elevated growth prospects after its recent acquisitions.
Veracyte's Q2 revenues more than doubled due to a boom in test volume, the company announced late in July. Testing revenues jumped 230 percent, driven by growth in its thyroid and urologic cancer businesses, and product revenues grew 59 percent. Its Decipher Prostate product line brought in more than $18 million in test revenue and is currently being investigated in 20 clinical and prospective trials.
Brian Weinstein, an analyst at William Blair, noted that he sees South San Francisco, California-based Veracyte "becoming a broader player in oncology-based diagnostics with a suite of products generally aimed at improving therapy decisions and outcomes," adding that he believes "the pieces are in place, and the company is now entering the execution phase of its journey."
Despite a variety of positive news for Genetron, the Beijing-based firm saw a further decline in its stock price after also dropping in June. The company announced that it entered a partnership with the World Economic Forum to promote the use of genetic testing in routine clinical practices. It has also partnered with Guizhou Province's Dafang County authorities to carry out early screening and facilitate diagnosis, treatment, follow-up screenings, and patient management for groups at high risk of liver cancer in the region.
During July the company obtained CE marking for its eight-gene lung cancer sequencing assay. At the end of the month, it said it has entered the priority review and approval process for its companion diagnostic kit for avapritinib (CStone Pharmaceuticals' Ayvakit) by the National Medical Products Administration of China. Its test is the first CDx product to go through the NMPA's accelerated review channel.
There was no obvious driver for the decline in Burning Rock Biotech's share price.
The only news from Invitae last month was an announcement that breast care software firm Volpara Health signed an agreement with Invitae to provide its genetic testing services to Volpara's US customers. The software company said it will create an integrated ordering process for Invitae's testing services within its suite of products.
|Burning Rock Biotech||BNR||22.78||29.46||-22.67|
|Thermo Fisher Scientific||TMO||540.01||504.47||7.05|
|360Dx Index Average||137.32||130.24||5.44|
*Abbott paid a dividend of $.45 per share on July 14.
|**Quest Diagnostics paid a dividend of $.62 per share on July 6.|