In a revised medical policy, Aetna said it would continue to cover NIPT for high-risk pregnancies, but not average-risk ones.
Counsyl believes its data is robust, while Natera has called the methodology and conclusions "gratuitously wrong." Both published opposing response letters this week.
Along with Exact, Natera and Qiagen saw sharp spikes in their stock prices, while Invitae and Opko Health each saw their share prices drop by more than 20 percent.
Natera said that the new product would further establish the company as a one-stop shop in the reproductive health market from pre-pregnancy through birth.
Natera's testing volumes increased but revenues declined due to achieving in-network status with payors and being reimbursed at a lower rate.
Natera discussed its plans to move into the whole-genome newborn screening market and provided updates on its NIPT and oncology businesses.
Natera saw total Q4 2016 revenues decline to $49.3 million, despite an increase in testing volumes.
Going forward, Natera said it will market its Panorama NIPT assay and carrier screening test Horizon directly to physicians.
The investment bank set a price target of $18.00 for shares of the molecular diagnostics company.
The organization will promote public awareness of cfDNA-based NIPT, encourage legislation supporting testing, and push for reimbursement policy changes.