Bionano Genomics revealed the publication of a new Saphyr-based method, which is designed for studying DNA replication in human genomes. Shares of the genome analysis company jumped 3.5% in Friday’s pre-market session.
Bionano Genomics’ (BNGO) new study is likely to lead to a new level of cancer research and drug discovery with reduced side effects, demonstrating the importance of optical genome mapping (OGM) in a large research market. Notably, the study is led by Dr. Nicholas Rhind from the University of Massachusetts Medical School along with a global team of scientists from France, Canada, and the US.
DNA replication is a fundamental process of cell growth seen in cancer and was not easy to study in human genomes. Through Bionano Genomics’ Saphyr-based method, the timing, speed, and origin of DNA replication will be known in human cells at a coverage level, which is thousands of times higher than earlier methods such as nanopore sequencing.
The body of humans and other organisms develops and grows when cells divide, and for each division, the entire genome needs to be replicated, the company said. Erroneous DNA replication might result in genome instability and mutations driving cancer. Therefore, as cancer cells divide excessively, many chemotherapeutic drugs target and disrupt DNA replication. (See Bionano Genomics stock analysis on TipRanks)
Bionano Genomics CEO Erik Holmlin commented, “At Bionano we are focused on driving what we believe will be next wave of big biology and innovation in genomics by unlocking access to genome structure, structural variation, and functional information derived from high volume single molecule analysis…The optical replication mapping described here is a novel application of our technology that contributes to solving unique scientific questions, and illustrates one of the areas of growth for OGM that the research market provides. We are excited about the possibilities for improved insight in cancer biology and the potential discoveries of novel treatments for cancer that this application could enable.”
On April 20, Ladenburg Thalmann analyst Jeffrey Cohen decreased the stock’s price target to $12.75 (113.9% upside potential) from $14.00 and maintained a Buy rating.
Bionano Genomics shares have skyrocketed significantly over the past year, while the stock still scores a Strong Buy consensus rating, based on 3 unanimous Buys. That’s alongside an average analyst price target of $13.92, which implies 133.6% upside potential to current levels.
TipRanks’ Stock Investors tool shows that investors currently have a Very Positive stance on Bionano Genomics, with 10.1% of investors increasing their exposure to BNGO stock over the past 30 days.