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Thermo Fisher (TMO) to Advance Precision Medicine in Qatar

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Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. TMO recently partnered with the Qatar Genome Program (QGP), a member of the Qatar Foundation, to expedite genomic research and clinical applications of predictive genomics in Qatar. This collaboration marks a step toward extending the benefits of precision medicine to Arab populations worldwide. It supports Qatar’s national vision to provide a high standard of living for its people, including providing access to genomics data, technology and insights that enhance population health nationwide.

As part of the agreement, Thermo Fisher and Qatar Genome Program will create an Axiom custom genotyping array for pan-Arab populations leveraging whole-genome sequencing data from 19 Arab countries. However, the array is currently intended for research use only and not for use in diagnostic procedures.

The Axiom microarray technology is designed to advance precision medicine. This latest collaboration will likely fortify Thermo Fisher’s microarray genetic solutions business.

Detailed View on Axiom Array

With more than 800,000 variants, the Axiom custom genotyping array seeks to drive scientific research and insights into conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, autism, inherited genetic disorders and cancer. Per Thermo Fisher’s management, the latest collaboration with QGP will create the building blocks for executing comprehensive precision medicine initiatives at scale for population health.

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The Axiom custom genotyping array is stated to be available through Thermo Fisher’s global commercial channels during late 2022. The array, once available, is expected to deliver a cost-effective option to whole-genome sequencing for Arab populations, allowing for greater diversity in large genome-wide studies.

More on the News

In 2018, Thermo Fisher started collaborating with QGP to create the first microarray tailored for the Qatari population. Under the new collaboration, the organizations will continue to improve algorithms and define clinically actionable content to evaluate polygenic risk scores. The content will measure disease risk and clinically relevant variants, including those associated with pharmacogenomics.

Industry Prospects

Per a report by Mordor Intelligence, the genomics market is expected to see a CAGR of nearly 15.89% by 2026. Factors such as increasing government support, rising number of genomics studies, declining sequencing cost and growing genomics applications can be attributable to market growth.

Given the market prospects, Thermo Fisher’s latest collaboration with QGP to utilize genomics to improve the standard of care for human health seems well-timed.

Other Notable Developments

In May 2022, Thermo Fisher teamed up with biotech incubator LabShares Newton to support the Greater Boston biotech ecosystem. This collaboration aims to provide instruments, lab equipment and consumables to help early-stage life sciences companies advance their drug discovery efforts. LabShares offers fully furnished lab space, services and equipment to nearly 25 biotech companies. Under the collaboration, Thermo Fisher will add equipments like ultra-low temperature freezers, cell culture incubators, microscopes and PCR instruments to the shared lab area.

In April 2022, the company opened a new single-use technology manufacturing site in Ogden, Utah. The state-of-the-art facility adds to the company’s capacity to produce high-quality technology and materials for the development of vaccines and novel therapies. It is part of Thermo Fisher's $650 million multi-year investment to help ensure flexible, scalable and reliable bioprocessing production capacity for crucial materials required to develop new and existing biologics and vaccines, including for COVID-19.

Share Price Performance

The stock has outperformed its industry in the past year. It has rallied 19.7% compared with the industry’s 16.4% fall.

Zacks Rank and Key Picks

Currently, Thermo Fisher carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A few better-ranked stocks in the broader medical space are AMN Healthcare Services, Inc. AMN, Medpace Holdings, Inc. MEDP and Masimo Corporation MASI.

AMN Healthcare has a long-term earnings growth rate of 1.1%. The company surpassed earnings estimates in the trailing four quarters, delivering a surprise of 15.6%, on average. It currently flaunts a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

AMN Healthcare has outperformed its industry in the past year. AMN has declined 2.2% versus the industry’s 62.9% fall.

Medpace has a historical growth rate of 27.3%. Medpace’s earnings surpassed estimates in the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 17.1%. It currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Medpace has outperformed its industry in the past year. MEDP has declined 20.4% against the industry’s 62.9% fall.

Masimo has a historical growth rate of 15.1%. Masimo’s earnings beat estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 4.4%. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #2.

Masimo has underperformed the industry in the past year. MASI has declined 18.2% compared with 16.1% industry drop in the said period.

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