NEW YORK –The 360Dx Top 30 continued its downward trend, falling nearly 10 percent in September following a 10 percent decline in August.
The Top 30 aligned with the broader market as fears of a recession drove down the Dow Jones Industrial Average 9 percent month over month, while the Nasdaq decreased nearly 11 percent. Meantime, the Nasdaq Biotech Index declined by 2 percent.
The Top 30's only gainer was Guardant Health (+8 percent). The company whose stock declined by the least was Quest Diagnostics (-2 percent). The decliners were led by Burning Rock Biotech (-39 percent), Renalytix (-38 percent), and Genetron (-33 percent). Each of the biggest decliners last month had a low starting share price, making it susceptible to broader market fluctuations.
A new product launch may be the main explanation for Guardant Health's stock price rise. Early in September, Guardant announced the launch of its GuardantInfinity liquid biopsy test for research use only. The test combines a panel of more than 800 genes with exome-wide methylation detection to provide genomic and epigenomic insights into tumor, tumor microenvironment, and patient immune responses from a blood sample, the company said in a statement.
The firm also presented data at the European Society for Medical Oncology Congress last month on the utility of its blood tests for different applications.
In a September note to investors, Cowen analyst Max Masucci noted that Guardant had "rallied off its May lows back into premium valuation territory" as the company prepares for a major data readout from its ECLIPSE trial this fall. That data readout could be "the biggest catalyst … that the sector has seen in the last decade," according to another note from BTIG analyst Mark Massaro.
Quest Diagnostics, meantime, saw the lowest slip in its share price during a month of major declines. Its stock was likely buoyed by the announcement early in September that it had received the first Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration for a monkeypox test. Its Monkeypox Virus Qualitative Real-Time PCR test is intended to detect monkeypox and other non-variola orthopoxvirus DNA with lesion swab specimens.
The company also announced that it is expanding its lab services agreement with Lee Health, based in southwest Florida. Quest will provide supply chain expertise in laboratory equipment, supplies, and procurement processes for certain hospitals and outpatient centers owned by Lee Health. Quest will also continue to provide reference testing for the company.
None of the largest decliners had significant news to explain their stock price decreases, although each of them had a low starting share price, making their stock particularly susceptible to broader market fluctuations.
|360Dx Top 30|
|Burning Rock Biotech||BNR||2.39||3.92||-39.03|
|Thermo Fisher Scientific***||TMO||507.19||545.32||-6.99|
|360Dx Top 30 Average||90.66||100.19||-9.51|
*Becton Dickinson paid a dividend of $.87 per share on Sept. 8.
**Danaher paid a dividend of $.25 per share on Sept. 29.
***Thermo Fisher Scientific paid a dividend of $.30 per share on Sept. 14.