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Analyst Blog

Bruker Corporation (BRKR - Analyst Report) recently announced the extension of its licensing agreement with 3M Company (MMM) for the processing of Formalin Fixed Paraffin Embedded (FPPE) tissue. The partnership between the companies dates back to 2013. The latest agreement allows Bruker to routine use 3M-patented innovations related to matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry imaging to conduct mass spectrometry and pathological analysis of proteins and tissues.

We note that, for quite some time, Bruker has made notable progress in its MALDI product line. Mass spectrometric imaging by MALDI-TOF (MALDI Imaging) is a spectrometric technology for analysis of tissues, such as FFPE. Bruker´s MALDI Tissuetyper, when used with the rapifleX MALDI-TOF mass spectrometer, makes mass spectrometric imaging more convinient.

The MALDI Tissuetyper was introduced last year to remove obstacles faced in mass spectrometry imaging. It enables fast detection of proteins in tissue samples without using a molecular probe or an antibody. The MALDI Tissuetyper can be used for biomarker discovery studies and for multi-marker tissue-typing and classification.

We believe that the expansion of the agreement is an important step for Bruker to develop products for anatomical pathology laboratories. The license rights now cover the acquisition of MALDI spectra from FFPE sections for research and routine applications. The MALDI Tissuetyper is currently available for research use only.

Apart from MALDI Tissuetyper, Bruker’s other important MALDI product is the MALDI Biotyper Systems (MALDI Biotyper and MALDI Biotyper CA System) which offers proper routine identification of bacteria, yeasts and fungi. Using the MALDI Biotyper, a pathologist can go from sample to result within minutes.

According to a Markets and Markets report, the global mass spectrometry market has been projected to reach $7,297.1 million by 2020 at a CAGR of 8.1% during 2015–2020. With Bruker’s management claims to be the only company to offer suitable technology for MALDI-TOF analysis of FFPE sections hint at the vast potential of the company in this niche.

To expand the latest MALDI Tissuetyper product, Bruker is presently collaborating with leading pathologists to develop assays and validated library content for proper clinical indications in anatomical pathology.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Bruker currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the medical product sector are GW Pharmaceuticals plc (GWPH - Analyst Report) , NuVasive, Inc. (NUVA - Analyst Report) and Quidel Corp. (QDEL - Snapshot Report) , all sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).  You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

GW Pharmaceuticals: This stock has gained 54.9% year to date, far better than the S&P 500’s 5.91% over the same time frame. The estimate revision trend for the current year remains impressive with three estimates moving higher over the past two months, with no downward movement.

NuVasive:  The stock gained 28.95% over the past one year compared to the S&P 500’s gain of 12.08%. This stock is expected to see 16.7% earnings growth rate compared to the industry average of 14.8%.

Quidel: This stock gained 14.99% in the past one year, higher than the S&P 500’s gain of 12.08%. The current year estimates revision trend remained strong with three estimates moving higher over the past two months, compared to no downward revision. The stock is estimated to record earnings growth rate of 20%, higher than the industry average of 14.8% for the next five years.

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