EXAS is presenting at JP Morgan this afternoon. In the past GHDX has highlighted Idylla in its presentations. BCART could get a bump if EXAS discusses the validation or the expected timeline for EU marking. Generally companies want to make a splash at JPM to generate investor and partner interest. It is quite possible that Verrelst has been holding back news for release at the conference..
We have not been discussing the recent actions of competitors to target the same market niche expressed by BCART in their business model. To me the fact that Illumina, Fisher, Roche are all angling to get their products into the point of care (POC) environment validates BCART's business model.and is the single most important near term investment concern. From what I'm seeing the competitors product is likely cost 10 times or more the cost of Idylla. The competitors product will require more sample prep labor with reagents and is not likely to turn results around in an hour or two. The competitors product is likely to have a higher fail rate (if similar to current NGS assays). Their product will have the advantage of providing a broader understanding of the molecular pathway if the operator is trained in molecular genomics to understand the results. More than likely, additional professionals (genetic counselors, etc.) will be necessary in the POC environment to understand and implement the results.
I think the simplicity of Idylla will carry the day. Is a common molecular disease pathways present or not? Is one of the common drugs or chemo treatment appropriate? It is possible that the Pharma partners may subsidize part of the CDx cost on Idylla to capture the Pharma script. Because the assay is quick and cheaper the opportunity to gain a patient user before a competitor is huge. This is important as more expensive drugs hit the market, Even as multiple drugs in a single category enter the market, outmaneuvering a competing pharma company to capture a patients script could be a big driver of pharma growth. Thus, giving them incentive to team with BCART.
I like the fact that BCART solicits input from the user community to tailor its product to the market (i.e., combining KRAS, NRAS,+ MSI) into a CRC offering. Creating the gene fusion panel for lung cancer, etc.). This reminds me of what GHDX did to tailor their OncoTypeDX test to provide actionable results. Idylla may not answer all of the questions that come up in MDx. but it can provide the answers to the most common questions that come up most frequently that staff in the POC environment can be trained to look for.
While it always important to watch what the competition is doing, I really like the market position that Idylla is trained on. We are only in the early innings of this game (what is the equivalent soccer analogy?). This will likely play out over a decade or more as more drugs with specific molecular targets hit the market. For this reason, I try not to get too worked up by day to day SP movement. I'd like to see a firm bottom (hopefully it is in already) but we need to stay trained on the progress being achieved to reach the overall benchmarks/catalysts enumerated in BL's post a couple days ago.