NEW YORK – The 360Dx Top 30 stayed essentially flat month over month in February after seeing a significant decline in January.
The Top 30 still managed to beat the broader market as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 4 percent month over month from January, while the Nasdaq dropped 3 percent. The Nasdaq Biotech Index fell 4 percent.
The Top 30's largest gainers last month were Meridian Bioscience (+21 percent), Bio-Techne (+11 percent), and Becton Dickinson (+7 percent). The decliners were led by Renalytix (-27 percent), Genetron Health (-19 percent), and Adaptive Biotechnologies (-17 percent).
Meridian Bioscience saw its second straight monthly rise in its share price after announcing its quarterly earnings results early in February. While the firm's fiscal Q1 revenues declined 5 percent year over year, its diagnostics revenues rose 10 percent. Although its life sciences segment saw a 12 percent decrease compared to the previous year, the company said that it saw a significant increase in demand for both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 immunological reagent revenues. Meridian also raised its full-year 2022 guidance as a result of the earnings, and now expects between $315 million and $330 million in total revenues.
In mid-February, Meridian also announced that its subsidiary Magellan Diagnostics resumed manufacturing and distributing its LeadCare II test kits after a product recall last year. Certain lots of the tests were voluntarily recalled in May as a result of a US Food and Drug Administration inspection, and the Class I recall was expanded in September. Meridian said that Magellan had identified a suitable replacement for paperboard material used in the test that had caused contamination and thus could begin shipping tests again.
On the first day of February, Bio-Techne reported that its fiscal Q2 revenues rose 20 percent compared to the previous year, led by a 23 percent increase in Diagnostics and Genomics revenues and a 19 percent increase in Protein Sciences revenues. Volumes for the firm's ExoDx Prostate test grew by strong double digits and returned to pre-pandemic volumes as patients returned for routine doctors' visits.
SVB Leerink analyst Puneet Souda wrote in a note after the firm's earnings conference call that Bio-Techne is the "leader" in research-use-only proteins and is "poised to benefit significantly as proteomics expansion continues."
Later in the month, the Minneapolis-based company said that it had signed a development and license agreement with Thermo Fisher Scientific to complete development of and commercialize Bio-Techne's ExoTru kidney transplant rejection test. The noninvasive liquid biopsy assay can discriminate between T-cell mediated rejection and antibody mediated rejection to help clinicians manage kidney transplant patients.
Becton Dickinson's share price rise during the month was also likely related to its quarterly earnings results, although it announced an acquisition and collaboration. On Feb. 1, the company announced its acquisition of Spanish flow cytometry firm Cytognos, which develops tests for hematologic cancer and blood diseases.
Despite a 6 percent revenue decline in its fiscal first quarter as a result of decreasing COVID-19 diagnostic sales, the company still beat analysts' average estimates. Excluding COVID-19-only testing, its base revenues increased 8 percent year over year. Its life sciences segment revenues declined 25 percent, offset by 17 percent growth in the segment's base business.
BD also announced a collaboration with ReturnSafe to provide a COVID-19 testing and software solution for employee health and compliance using BD's Veritor At-Home COVID-19 test.
BD's board of directors also approved the spinoff of its diabetes care business into a separate company, Embecta, last month, which will occur on April 1.
Among the decliners, Renalytix had no significant news last month to explain its share price decline.
Genetron Health's only news in February was the signing of a collaboration agreement with Hutchmed for the joint development of a companion diagnostic test in China for Hutchmed's Orpathys (savolitinib) lung cancer tyrosine kinase inhibitor. The partners will jointly validate and register Genetron's next-generation sequencing-based 8-gene Lung Cancer Assay (Tissue) as a CDx for Orpathys.
Adaptive Biotechnologies' share price decline last month, meantime, came in spite of positive earnings results. The firm's fourth quarter revenues increased 26 percent year over year, with full-year revenues up 57 percent. The increases were driven by sequencing revenues, the company said, as Q4 sequencing revenue grew 81 percent and full-year revenue jumped 90 percent. During Adaptive's earnings call, the company said it plans to focus on two major business arms going forward: immune medicine and minimal residual disease testing.
In an analyst note, William Blair's Brian Weinstein said that the "bigger picture is once again that progress is being made across several critical areas." He added that "given the quarterly cadence of the earnings cycle, progress is not always dramatic," but it "does appear to be happening."
|360Dx Top 30|
|Burning Rock Biotech||BNR||8.43||9.00||-6.33|
|Thermo Fisher Scientific||TMO||544.00||581.30||-6.42|
|360Dx Top 30 Average||119.41||118.86||0.47|
*Bio-Techne paid a dividend of $.32 per share on Feb. 10.