Genetic testing stocks are getting a lot of investor attention. But what is genetic testing?
Genetic testing can identify changes in chromosomes, genes or proteins. In a medical context, the results of a genetic test can confirm or rule out a suspected genetic condition or help determine a patient’s chances of developing or passing on a certain genetic disorder. Unsurprisingly, there are currently thousands of genetic tests, with more being developed.
According to the US National Library of Medicine, genetic test types include: molecular genetic tests, which look at genes and short lengths of DNA to pinpoint mutations that result in genetic disorders; chromosomal genetic tests, which review the entire chromosome or long lengths of DNA to determine any major genetic changes; and biochemical genetic tests, which study how active protein levels are and examine irregularities that cause genetic disorders.
The genetic testing industry opens up access to personalized medicines for patients. For investors unfamiliar with the term, these medicines focus on prevention and early treatment of diseases rather than reacting to them at a later stage.
Looking at the growth potential of genetic testing, a report from Grand View Research projects that the global industry will be worth around US$35.34 billion by 2030, up from US$7.48 billion in 2022, representing a CAGR of 22 percent from 2023 to 2030.
Top genetic testing stocks
1. Illumina (NASDAQ:ILMN)
Market cap: US$25.33 billion
First on this genetic testing stocks list is Illumina. Illumina develops, manufactures and markets life science tools and integrated systems that enable the implementation of genomic solutions for the healthcare sector; its focus is on oncology testing, genetic disease testing, reproductive health and research. Last year, the company partnered with AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) on a drug discovery project that harnesses the power of artificial intelligence technology.
In April of this year, Illumina joined the Henry Ford Health System to develop whole-genome testing for cardiovascular disease, similar to the testing in place for certain cancers. The data could enhance personalized medicine via faster diagnosis and more precise treatment plans for individual patients.
2. Hologic (NASDAQ:HOLX)
Market cap: US$18.15 billion
Hologic is a medical technology company that specializes in medical devices for diagnostics, surgery and medical imaging, with a focus on women’s health.
Hologic’s Breast Cancer Index is a molecular gene expression-based test that helps to inform physicians’ treatment decisions for patients with early stage, hormone-receptive breast cancer in order to rule out unnecessary treatment options that may have significant side effects and safety challenges. This laboratory-developed test is the only validated, commercially available test that predicts the likelihood of benefit from extended endocrine therapy, according to the company.
3. Exact Sciences (NASDAQ:EXAS)
Market cap: US$14.85 billion
Exact Sciences focuses on molecular diagnostic tests. The company has developed a molecular screening technology platform called Cologuard that detects a range of cancers, including breast cancer and colorectal cancer. A positive result from Cologuard can mean that colorectal cancer or advanced adenoma is present, which means a diagnostic colonoscopy should be done so that healthcare professionals can detect the disease. Cologuard is geared towards patients over the age of 45 who have an average risk of colorectal cancer.
Exact Sciences’ technology portfolio also includes the Oncotype DX test for breast cancer recurrence.
4. Bio-Techne (NASDAQ:TECH)
Market cap: US$11.94 billion
Next up on this genetic testing stocks list is global life science firm Bio-Techne, which develops, manufactures and sells life science reagents, diagnostic instruments and bioprocessing services for research and clinical applications, including drug discovery. The global life science firm’s family of brands includes R&D Systems, ProteinSimple and Novus Biologicals.
Bio-Techne’s Advanced Cell Diagnostics-branded RNAscope in-situ hybridization portfolio includes new automated co-detection assays that are specifically designed for Roche’s (OTC Pink:RHHBY,SWX:ROG) Discovery Ultra Platform, allowing for the simultaneous detection of RNA and protein on the same tissue section.
5. Bio-Rad Laboratories (NYSE:BIO)
Market cap: US$10.77 billion
Bio-Rad Laboratories develops, manufactures and markets specialized life science technology for research and clinical diagnostics markets. The company’s portfolio of products include instruments, software, consumables, reagents and content for a wide range of life science market segments, including cell biology, gene expression, protein quantitation and drug discovery and manufacturing.
Bio-Rad acquired Curiosity Diagnostics in August 2022 for US$170 million. Curiosity Diagnostics is working to develop a sample-to-answer, rapid-diagnostic PCR system for the molecular diagnostics market. In early 2023, the company partnered with Element Biosciences on RNA sequencing and profiling that combines both companies’ technologies for more efficient, cost-effective and reliable testing.
Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.