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Oppenheimer Pounds the Table on Bionano Stock

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On Wednesday, Bionano Genomics (BNGO) informed investors that "authors at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center" have published a study utilizing Bionano's Saphyr optical genome mapping (OGM) system "as an alternative to traditional cytogenomic methods for the characterization of structural variation (SV) in myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)," a bone marrow disorder inhibiting the production of healthy blood cells, which can lead to leukemia.

Bionano seemed pretty pleased with the study, noting that it supported "the potential of optical genome mapping to become a single-platform cytogenetic tool for structural variant profiling in indications such as MDS," and helped researchers to "see more variants in subjects at higher resolution... which has the potential to help drive better outcomes" for patients.

The results generated by Saphyr were apparently both "100% concordant" with (i.e. the results agreed with) results from traditional karyotyping methods. Moreover, both the speed at which results were obtained, and the resolution utilizing Saphyr "was much higher than conventional karyotyping (CK) and enabled precise mapping of SVs at gene-level," thus generating more useful data for researchers. In particular, Bionano pointed out that Saphyr actually "identified 23 clinically significant SVs in 18% of the patients which eluded detection by CK." As CEO Erik Holmlin argued, the study "illustrates the utility of OGM in a complex disorder."

One analyst who agrees with Holmlin is Oppenheimer's Kevin DeGeeter.

DeGeeter argues that Saphyr is already known to be faster than traditional methods of mapping genomes, but that this study suggests that Saphyr may be qualitatively "better" as well.

The ability of Saphyr to detect 18% more "clinically relevant SVs" bolsters that case, says the analyst. And DeGeeter predicts that when MD Anderson Dr. Rashmi Kanagal-Shamanna discusses the results at more length at an American Society of Hematology meeting on December 11, this will help to raise the profile of Saphyr (and of Bionano), and potentially attract new customers interested in using Saphyr as a tool in cytogenetics analysis. (Cytogenetics is the study of DNA structure and how chromosomes relate to cell behavior.)

What does this mean for investors? According to DeGeeter, with 141 units already delivered through the end of Q3, Bionano is on track to exceed analyst expectations for the delivery of "150-plus" units of its Saphyr system through December 2021. Indeed, DeGeeter thinks the company may have achieved enough momentum to see as many as 156 units placed by the end of this year.

DeGeeter estimates that each Saphyr unit sold translates to about $150,000 in revenue for Bionano (or about 1% of total revenues booked over the past year). Additionally, the analyst expects that a rate of 20 tests run per unit, per month, at $500 per test for the consumables needed in running tests, each unit placed should generate in excess of $110,000 in recurring revenue annually.

As the business continues to grow, DeGeeter values Bionano stock at $14 a share, and rates the shares Outperform (i.e. buy). Should the target be met, investors are looking at returns of 300% in the year ahead. (To watch DeGeeter's track record, click here)

Turning now to the rest of the Street, other analysts echo DeGeeter's sentiment. As only Buy recommendations have been published in the last three months, BNGO earns a Strong Buy analyst consensus. With the average price target clocking in at $12, shares could soar ~245% from current levels. (See BNGO stock forecast on TipRanks)

To find good ideas for biotech stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.