“Gen-dx Test Predicts Cancer”

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, December 7, 2007

This teaser and the solution come in from our old friend Streetsifter, who has written up a few solutions in this space in the past — t0 the great appreciation of your Gumshoe. His solution has been confirmed by a few other readers who I know do a good job sniffing out solutions, so he’s probably right, but I’m actually quite short on time today so I’m posting his words with very little editing, and I personally haven’t looked into the stock much yet.

What follows is from Streetsifter, in his version on the oddball Gumshoe writing style …

For $2,600 – “almost half off” of the normal $5,000 annual fee – you can subscribe to Rob Fannon’s Phase I Investor newsletter and receive the name of the “tiny California firm” that has developed the “Gen-dX” test that predicts whether patients will get cancer. Or you can simply keep reading, and let the Gumshoe provide the solution.

The teaser includes clues to the identity of the biotech firm that developed the test, providing such details as:

  • 39,000 patients have taken the test in the past two years
  • the company’s share price has nearly doubled in the same two years
  • three members of the management team previously “held senior positions in another well-known and highly profitable biotech company”
  • the company’s revenue for last year grew by 461%
  • “A clinical test trial sponsored in part by the National Cancer Institute is already underway for its colon cancer test.”

Stock Gumshoe Forum participant “Womanwithportfolio” shared her suspected solution on the forum, and Streetsifter, a paid-up Gumshoe Irregular who has provided us with correct solutions in the past has sent in his confirming data … which all leads to …

Genomic Health (Nasdaq: GHDX)

The Redwood City, California firm markets the FDA approved cancer test under the trade name Oncotype DX at a cost of over $3,000 per test. They have three senior management staff who migrated from Genentech, Inc.

Genomic Health’s 2006 Schedule K showed total 2006 revenue of $ 29.174 Million vs. $5,202 million in 2005, exactly matching the touted 461% increase. The current share price is around $23.30, vs. a high of $11.75 in the third quarter of 2005, confirming the double.

And their website confirms that 39,000 patients have taken the test in the past two years.

However, like most young biotech firms, the company has yet to show a profit. Potential investors should heed the firm’s 2006 Schedule 10 warning:

“Since our inception in August 2000, we have incurred significant losses and, as of December 31, 2006, we had an accumulated deficit of approximately $125.1 million. We have not yet achieved profitability and anticipate that we will continue to incur net losses for at least the next two years. We expect that our research and development, selling and marketing and general and administrative expenses will continue to grow and, as a result, we will need to generate significant product revenues to achieve profitability. We may never achieve profitability.”

Based on that statement, is it likely the Genomic Health can – as the Phase I Investor teaser ad suggests – mirror the 1,943% gains of biotech firm Illumina or the 604% gains of Immucor? That’s something that the Stock Gumshoe can’t say with certainty. What I can say with certainty is that you won’t need to shell out $2,600 for the solution to the teaser ad. Thanks to Womanwithportfolio, and especially to Streetsifter for his contribution to this posting.

OK, back to the Gumshoe’s words here — sorry I haven’t spent much time looking at this company myself, but I hope to in the days ahead, and I thought getting this out there would provide some more opportunity for the Gumshoe faithful to throw their two cents in.

My non-company-specific reaction, taken without any look at their filings or their prospects, is to note that, as always, they’re probably not as alone in this endeavor as the ad for the newsletter might indicate — genetic testing and diagnostics, and especially genetic screening for various diseases, particularly cancer, is certainly the flavor of the week on Wall Street.

There are a lot of companies in this broader business category (long-time Gumshoe readers might remember the “SNiP Technique” teaser of a while back, which was for a couple diagnostics companies — and also from Rob Fannon, though for his lower-brow Medical Investor publication), and though the Phase I Investor service aims to be one of the high end subscriptions that gets “a select few” into less-