NEW YORK (360Dx) – The stocks of many diagnostic firms rebounded last month after a sluggish February and March.
For the month of April, the 360Dx Index ticked up more than 3 percent month over month, following 3 percent declines in each of the two prior months. Of the 25 companies in the index, 20 saw their share prices increase last month. Exact Sciences (+24 percent) paced the gainers, followed by Natera (+20 percent), Invitae (+18 percent), and NeoGenomics (+17 percent). No company's stock was down as much as 5 percent month over month in April.
The index outperformed the broader markets as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite each rose less than 1 percent month over month, while the Nasdaq Biotech Index declined 3 percent.
Exact Sciences' bump up in April largely occurred in the second half of the month, which culminated in the company reporting an 87 percent year-over-year increase in its Q1 revenues. That resulted in a one-day 12 percent jump in the company's stock the day after it announced its results.
Natera, meantime, had no obvious drivers to its stock price rise, although at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting, it shared new data on its recently launched Signatera technology, including validation data and data on the technology applied to colorectal and bladder cancer.
In early April, the firm also announced that Paul Billings had been appointed its CMO.
Invitae was March's biggest decliner (-29 percent) but the company bounced back in April though the reason for the rebound was unclear. It ended March by pricing more than 11 million shares of its common stock at $4.50 per share in a public offering expected to bring in about $50 million. At the end of April, the company said it had partnered with Biogen to offer free genetic testing to patients suspected of having spinal muscular atrophy or who are clinically diagnosed with the neuromuscular disease.
NeoGenomics, likewise, had no apparent drivers for its share-price improvement last month.
March's biggest gainer, GenMark Diagnostics, saw another robust month in April, as its stock price rose 15 percent month over month, although it reported no news.
Among the decliners, shares of Myriad Genetic and Opko Health each retreated about 4 percent in April compared to March, making them the index's largest decliners.
Early in the month, Japanese regulators granted manufacturing and marketing approval for Myriad's BRACAnalysis Diagnostic System. The company, however, was hit with several lawsuits alleging it did not disclose how it billed Medicare and Medicaid for its myRisk Hereditary Cancer test.
Meanwhile, a study demonstrating positive results for Opko's 4Kscore test for prostate cancer did little to generate excitement among investors. In the study, researchers found the test could identify patients who had elevated PSA levels but who were at low risk of dying from prostate cancer over the next two decades.