- The stock price of BioNano Genomics Inc (NASDAQ: BNGO) increased by 1,552.94% over the past month. This is why it happened.
Bionano is a genome analysis company that provides tools and services based on the Saphyr system to scientists and clinicians conducting genetic research and patient testing, and providing diagnostic testing for those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other neurodevelopmental disabilities through its Lineagen business.
And the Saphyr system is a platform for ultra-sensitive and ultra-specific structural variation detection that enables researchers and clinicians to accelerate the search for new diagnostics and therapeutic targets and to streamline the study of changes in chromosomes — which is known as cytogenetics.
The Saphyr system is built with an instrument, chip consumables, reagents and a suite of data analysis tools, and genome analysis services for providing access to data generated by the Saphyr system for researchers who prefer not to adopt the Saphyr system in their labs. And Lineagen has been providing genetic testing services to families and their healthcare providers for over 9 years and has performed over 65,000 tests for those with neurodevelopmental concerns.
The stock price of BioNano Genomics Inc (NASDAQ: BNGO) increased by 1,552.94% over the past month as it went from $0.51 on December 16 to $8.43 on January 15. There were several triggers that sent the stock price up.
In late December, Oppenheimer analyst Kevin DeGeeter maintained a “Buy” rating on BNGO. And DeGeeter set a price target of $1.50 on the company. And Maxim Group analyst Jason McCarthy assigned a “Buy” rating shortly after at a price target of $2. At the time, the stock price was trading somewhere between $0.55 and $0.88.
The analysts had cited Bionano Genomics’ key milestones for throughput of the Saphyr System. And with the release of a software update for the Saphyr Instrument — which is part of its system for optical genome mapping, the system became capable of imaging up to 96 human genomes per week to a depth of coverage of 100x (or 4,992 samples per year) assuming continuous operation.
Since Saphyr launched in 2017, the annual throughput has increased 1,400%, from 384 samples per year to nearly 5,000 samples per year. And the expansion in throughput has been driven largely by the growing use of the Saphyr System in a variety of high volume settings, including discovery research and cytogenomics.
The software update also included Saphyr Assure, which offers an automated system health monitoring tool that continuously inspects data quality and instrument performance. Saphyr Assure was built to monitor Saphyr’s health and can alert Bionano support of potential issues.
January 4 – Study Published About Autism Risk Genes
Between December 31 and January 4, the stock price of BioNano went from $3.08 to $7.20 (up 133.77%). One of the biggest reason why the stock price increased at that time is due to the company announcing that it published a study on autism risk genes after detailed analysis of the genome of Professor Temple Grandin — who brought awareness to auAutism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) through her activism. Through the use of the Lineagen’s suite of genetic tests customized for individuals with ASD and other disorders of childhood development, including FirstStepDx PLUS chromosomal microarray, NextStepDx PLUS whole exome sequencing, and whole genome sequencing, the study had identified novel variants in known ASD risk genes and other genetic variants important to her health and wellness. And despite Dr. Grandin’s high level of functioning and acute awareness of how her ASD manifests, the findings have led to improved clinical management of many of her symptoms.
Dr. Grandin was diagnosed with ASD during childhood and was non-verbal until age 3. And she avoided physical touch and had difficulties with social interactions as an adolescent yet she was able to develop a career as a renowned PhD scientist, authored books entitled “The Autistic Brain” and “Thinking in Pictures” and was named one of the top 10 college professors by CEOWORLD Magazine. Along with having ASD, she has experienced a lifelong feeling of heat and pain (specifically in her feet), insomnia, anxiety and panic attacks and is missing several teeth but elected to forego dental implants.
Lineagen’s genome analysis had identified sequence variants in three ASD risk genes — one of which was initially discovered and validated by Lineagen, and structural variants in other neurodevelopmental genes that — while not considered diagnostic on their own — in combination could explain her ASD and related health conditions.
Plus, pathogenic variants were found in genes that explain her symptoms of pain (familial Mediterranean fever) and missing teeth (ectodermal dysplasia). And her decision to forego dental implants ended up being the right one given the bone weakness caused by ectodermal dysplasia. And analysis of pharmacogenetic genes found her to have a slow metabolism of many drugs, including Warfarin — which meant that her prescriptions and dosage had to be adjusted. Without such critical information, there could have been significant bleeding-related issues during surgery.
“This publication shows the importance of genetic testing for ASD and neurodevelopmental disorders. ASD is typically diagnosed based on a child’s behavior, and only 3% of children with an ASD diagnosis get clinical genetic testing, which is recommended by a number of professional medical organizations including the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Widespread adoption of genetic testing is important to patients and families because it creates a better understanding of ASD, but more importantly, informs families and patients about immediate health risks associated with ASD that could personalize treatment options and provide potentially life-saving information,” said Erik Holmlin, PhD, CEO of Bionano Genomics.
On January 11, Bionano Genomics, Inc. announced the first publication from the COVID-19 Host Genome Structural Variant Consortium. And the study found that optical genome mapping (OGM) with Bionano’s Saphyr System identified structural variants (SVs) that affect genes in pathways that control immune and inflammatory response, viral reproduction, and mucosal function. The authors believed these SVs may provide key insights into the pathogenesis of COVID-19 and outcomes in patients who become severely ill. The stock price increased over 20% when this was announced.
On January 13, Bionano Genomics announced that it received a letter from the Nasdaq Listing Qualifications staff notifying the company has regained compliance with Nasdaq’s minimum bid price requirement for continued listing on the Nasdaq Capital Market. The letter had noted that as for the last 10 consecutive business days, from December 29, 2020, to January 12, 2021, the closing bid price of the company’s common stock has been at $1 per share or greater, the company has regained compliance and the matter is now closed. The stock price increased over 49% when this was announced.
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