Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ:SQNM), a life sciences company committed to enabling healthier lives through the development of innovative products and services, today announced that it has entered into a clinical collaboration with the University of Colorado Denver, School of Medicine (CU School of Medicine). Under this collaboration, CU School of Medicine will explore the utility of Sequenom’s research use only (RUO) liquid biopsy assay to determine whether ctDNA profiling can be used to monitor treatment response and relapse in melanoma patients. This technology has the potential to overcome the challenges and limitations associated with current methods to monitor treatment response such as invasive biopsies and repeated imaging studies.
“In just the last few years, we have made significant progress in the treatment of melanoma patients in whom the disease has progressed beyond the skin to involve internal organs. I believe that the ability to match patients to new treatment options and to monitor their response with a simple blood test will yield significant clinical benefit,” said William Robinson, MD, PhD, Professor, Division of Medical Oncology, Rella and Monroe Rifkin Endowed Chair, University of Colorado School of Medicine. “We anticipate that the collaboration with Sequenom will allow us to closely monitor treatment response and the emergence of resistance mutations over time and make changes or adjustments in treatment much earlier than can be done currently.”
Sequenom is currently developing an RUO assay with an initial focus on the detection and molecular profiling of late stage non-hematologic malignancies, where tissue biopsies are not available or too risky to obtain. The assay will cover a breadth of cancer types by analyzing over 100 cancer-related genes that are associated with a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug treatment, included in professional society guidelines, linked to targeted therapies currently in clinical trials, or part of well-documented cancer pathways.
“Liquid biopsy has many potential applications for a variety of cancers,” said Daniel Grosu, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Sequenom. “This is our first collaborative study focusing on melanoma, which expands the range of cancers and clinical care settings that we are exploring with this novel technology. We are uniquely positioned to leverage our strong expertise in testing circulating cell-free DNA to move liquid biopsy from a research concept to routine clinical practice in oncology.” (Original Source)
Shares of Sequenom closed last Friday at $2.06. SQNM has a 1-year high of $4.80 and a 1-year low of $1.53. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $2.04 and its 200-day moving average is $3.00.
On the ratings front, Sequenom has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on September 30, Jefferies Co. analyst Brandon Couillard downgraded SQNM to Hold, with a price target of $1.50, which reflects a potential downside of -27.2% from last closing price. Separately, on September 29, Ladenburg Thalmann’s Kevin Degeeter downgraded the stock to Sell .
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Brandon Couillard and Kevin Degeeter have a total average return of 11.2% and 21.7% respectively. Couillard has a success rate of 74.0% and is ranked #277 out of 3788 analysts, while Degeeter has a success rate of 57.5% and is ranked #258.
The street is mostly Neutral on SQNM stock. Out of 5 analysts who cover the stock, 4 suggest a Hold rating and one recommends to Sell the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $1.50, which represents a potential downside of 27.2% from where the stock is currently trading.
Sequenom Inc is a molecular diagnostic testing and genetics analysis company which provides molecular diagnostic testing services.