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Sequenom shares up on testing recommendation

The Associated Press

Sequenom Inc.'s shares soared Wednesday after an American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists committee recommended a form of testing that the company offers be more commonly used.

THE SPARK: The committee recommended that cell-free fetal DNA testing be offered to pregnant women at increased risk of aneuploidy, an abnormal number of chromosomes.

THE BIG PICTURE: Sequenom makes a number of genetic analysis products, including the MaterniT21 PLUS test, which analyzes the amount of certain chromosomal material in cell-free DNA. It is used for woman at increased risk for fetal aneuploidy. The company said that estimates suggested there are about 750,000 pregnancies at high risk for the condition each year in the U.S.

THE ANALYSIS: Jefferies analyst Jon Wood said that such an endorsement is the "most impactful yet" as the company builds support for its test, given that the organization is the leading national professional society for obstetricians and gynecologists.

SHARE ACTION: Shares increased 49 cents, or 13 percent, to $4.18 by in afternoon trading. Its stock has ranged between $2.65 and $5.83 in the past 52 weeks.