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Steep Declines by Invitae, Opko, NantHealth, Myriad Genetics as 360Dx Index Slides 3 Percent in May

NEW YORK (360Dx) — The broader market pushed down the stock prices of many diagnostic companies in May as the 360Dx Index declined almost 3 percent month over month.

In all, 21 companies in the index saw their share values shrink last month compared to April, while six firms' stock prices grew.

A weak overall market was largely to blame for the month-over-month softness in diagnostic stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 7 percent in May compared to April, while the Nasdaq was down 8 percent, and the Nasdaq Biotech Index declined 6 percent.

The largest decliners were Invitae (-26 percent), and Opko Health (-25 percent), followed by NantHealth (-22 percent) and Myriad Genetics (-21 percent). Natera (+20 percent), Guardant Health (+17 percent), and CareDx (+16 percent) paced the gainers.

Invitae began May by announcing a 47 percent year-over-year increase for its Q1 revenues. It missed the consensus Wall Street estimate on the top line but managed to beat the consensus top-line estimate. The company finished the month by announcing a partnership with Horizon Therapeutics to perform genetic testing for urea cycle disorder.

In late April, UnitedHealthcare said that it included Invitae as a Preferred Laboratory Network.

Opko's May swoon continued a trend from April when its shares were down 8 percent compared to March. Last month, it announced that its Q1 revenues dropped 13 percent year over year.

NantHealth's May share-price decline similarly followed a drop in April when its stock retreated 25 percent month over month. The company's only announcement last month was that its revenues grew 6 percent year over year during the first quarter.

Myriad also reported last month that its revenues grew 18 percent year over year for its fiscal third quarter, which, nonetheless, were short of the consensus Wall Street estimate.

Among the gainers, Natera began May by announcing Q1 financial results that beat the analysts' average estimates on the top and bottom lines. It also announced that the US Food and Drug Administration granted breakthrough device designation for it circulating tumor DNA test called Signatera, and it received a draft local coverage determination from Medicare administrative contractor Noridian for its Prospera donor-derived cell-free DNA test.

Guardant Health's stock price was lifted by a number of positive news in May starting with a reported 120 percent year-over-year increase in its Q1 revenues. Additionally, the firm announced a planned large prospective clinical trial to test the ability of its Lunar liquid biopsy assay to detect colorectal cancer in asymptomatic individuals.

Later in the month, Guardant Health announced it would publicly offer 4.5 million shares of its common stock at $71 per share to raise gross proceeds of about $319.5 million. Noridian also issued a draft LCD for the company's Guardant360 liquid biopsy test.

Mid-month Personal Genome Diagnostics said it was suing Guardant Health, alleging it improperly obtained at least three patents for its liquid biopsy technology.

Lastly, CareDx said last month that its Q1 revenues grew 84 percent year over year, with particular strength in its testing services business. Before that, the firm said that it and French medical technology company Cibiltech would be partnering to commercialize CareDx's Predigraft, a data analysis tool for predicting an individual's risk of allograft rejection and transplant loss.

Early in the month, CareDx said that it signed an agreement to make its heart transplant diagnostic test AlloMap a contracted service with Anthem Blue Cross of California and 10 of its affiliated health plans. It also said it planned to launch a new multi-modal kidney transplant diagnostic test. The test will include its AlloSure blood-based donor-derived cell-free DNA test, its AlloMap gene expression test, and a predictive artificial intelligence algorithm from Cibiltech.