Company Update (NASDAQ:SQNM): Sequenom, Inc. Enters Collaboration With UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center With Novel Liquid Biopsy Assay

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 research collaboration with the University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center. Under this collaboration, Moores Cancer Center will explore the utility of Sequenom’s new liquid biopsy assay to comprehensively profile circulating cell-free tumor DNA in blood to enable serial monitoring and assist with therapy selection in cancer patients. This technology has the potential to overcome the challenges and limitations associated with current methods such as imaging and invasive biopsies.

“Sequenom has designed a comprehensive multi-gene panel based on the clinical actionability of cancer genes. The ability to match patients to a growing list of treatments and to monitor their response by a simple blood draw promises to make a significant difference in the way we treat cancer patients at UC San Diego,” said Razelle Kurzrock, M.D., chief of the Division of Hematology & Oncology and Murray Professor of Medicine, senior deputy director of Clinical Science and director of the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy & Clinical Trials Office. “The collaboration with Sequenom will allow us to analyze more cancer-related genes in the blood than previously possible to better understand tumor heterogeneity and the emergence of resistance mutations.”

Sequenom is currently developing a Research Use Only (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.

“We are very excited to work with Dr. Kurzrock and the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center to evaluate our circulating tumor DNA profiling assay in clinical samples,” said Daniel Grosu, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Sequenom. “Our wholly owned subsidiary, Sequenom Laboratories, has tested over 450,000 plasma samples to date with our noninvasive prenatal tests, giving us significant experience and know-how in the study of circulating cell-free DNA. We are uniquely positioned to leverage this expertise and move liquid biopsy from a research concept to routine clinical practice in oncology.”

The collaboration with UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center is the first of a series of collaborations with leading cancer centers worldwide that will utilize the assay as part of their clinical research programs. Sequenom, through its wholly owned subsidiary Sequenom Laboratories, intends to carry out further studies in order to bring to market a liquid biopsy assay for use in patient care in 2016. (Original Source)

Shares of Sequenom opened today at $2.01. SQNM has a 1-year high of $4.80 and a 1-year low of $1.97. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $2.69 and its 200-day moving average is $3.45.

On the ratings front, Sequenom has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on August 4, Wedbush analyst Zarak Khurshid maintained a Hold rating on SQNM, with a price target of $3.50, which implies an upside of 74.1% from current levels. Separately, on May 8, Oppenheimer’s Ling Wang reiterated a Buy rating on the stock .

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Zarak Khurshid and Ling Wang have a total average return of -3.6% and -10.8% respectively. Khurshid has a success rate of 56.0% and is ranked #3092 out of 3730 analysts, while Wang has a success rate of 28.9% and is ranked #3560.

Sequenom Inc is a molecular diagnostic testing and genetics analysis company which provides molecular diagnostic testing services.

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