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BTIG Downgrades Talis Biomedical to Neutral

NEW YORK – Investment bank BTIG on Tuesday downgraded Talis Biomedical from a Buy to a Neutral rating following an announcement by the point-of-care molecular diagnostic testing firm the day before that Brian Coe has stepped down as its president, CEO, and director.

"The move caught us by surprise given that this change comes just six months following the company's successful $253 [million-plus initial public offering] in February," BTIG analyst Mark Massaro said in a research note. He noted that a CEO change so close to an IPO is uncommon.

Talis had also announced on Monday that Kim Popovits has been appointed interim CEO, and will lead the search to hire the firm's next president and CEO.

BTIG views her appointment positively, Massaro said. "We spoke with Ms. Popovits and the [Talis] management team last evening [which] gave us context for the transition," he said, though not knowing "timelines for future product launches or the future CEO leaves us with limited visibility on the stock as well as our revenue estimates in the near term."

In a research note on Monday, investment bank Piper Sandler reiterated its Neutral rating and a $9 price target, stating that Coe's resignation was unsurprising. "There was a loss of confidence with [Talis] triggered by multiple delays in product development and limited disclosure on revised timing," Piper Sandler analyst Steven Mah wrote.

In late Tuesday afternoon trading on the Nasdaq, Talis' shares were down more than 11 percent to $8.05.