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360Dx Index Flat in July as Quidel Leads Gainers, Natera Paces Decliners

NEW YORK (360Dx) – After a fruitful June, the 360Dx Index was nearly flat month over month in July, as it trailed the broader market.

Overall, the index rose less than 1 percent last month. Shares for 14 of the 26 companies comprising the index took a hit in July while 10 firms' stock prices rose. One company, GenMark Diagnostics, saw no change in its share price.

The index trailed the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Nasdaq Composite, and the Nasdaq Biotech indices, which each grew approximately 3 percent month over month.

Leading the gainers was Quidel (+18 percent), which received upgrades from both Canaccord Genuity and William Blair mid-month, following Quidel's purchase of certain assets and assays from Alere. The firm ended July on a down note, however, reporting second quarter revenues that fell 2 percent and missed the consensus Wall Street estimate on the top line.

July's biggest decliner was Natera (-26 percent). Mid-month, Aetna updated its medical policy for noninvasive prenatal testing, choosing not to cover average-risk pregnancies, though it said it would continue covering the procedure for high-risk policies.

Shortly after Aetna released its new policy, Natera's stock took a dip. Between July 18 and Monday, the firm's share price fell 27 percent.

Meridian Bio (-14 percent) also saw its stock price erode last month as it continued to deal with the fallout from the controversy over blood-lead testing results from its Magellan Diagnostics business. Most recently, the US Food and Drug Administration said that Magellan may have broken federal law with the way it conducted the tests, as well as customer complaints, though the agency continues to review the matter.

Last week, Meridian Bio also reported a 1 percent year-over-year decline in its second quarter revenues.

Meanwhile, Foundation Medicine (-11 percent) ended the month by being hit with a lawsuit on Monday that alleged the company misled investors about the reimbursement process for its cancer genomic tests, including the likelihood of Medicare coverage.