A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

The class-action lawsuits against Sequenom (San Diego) continue to pile up in the aftermath of the company disclosing that the expected launch of its SEQureDx Down syndrome test will be delayed as the result of employee mishandling of R&D test data.

This week the law firm of Barroway Topaz Kessler Meltzer & Check joined the growing list of firms that have filed class action suits against Sequenom on behalf of stockholders who purchased shares between June 4, 2008, and April 29.

Similar to the other class action suits that have been filed against the company, the latest complaint alleges that Sequenom and certain of its officers knew or recklessly disregarded the facts that some of its employees had mishandled test data and results for SEQureDx; that the test failed to provide a significant improvement to existing Triple and Quad tests; that as a result, the company would be unable to achieve a commercial launch of the test by June 2009; that the company lacked adequate internal controls; and that, as a result of the foregoing, Sequenom's statements about its financial well-being and future business prospects were lacking in any reasonable basis when made.

Last week Glancy Binkow & Goldberg (Los Angeles) filed a similar class action suit against Sequenom, which came on the heels of at least two other firms that have either filed a suit or are investigating the company concerning possible securities violations. Johnson Bottini, a San Diego firm, filed a class-action suit on behalf of the same group of stockholders and the law offices of Howard Smith (Bensalem, Pennsylvania) said it is "investigating potential claims" against Sequenom.

Upon news of the delay of SEQureDx, shares of Sequenom fell $11.29 a share, or 75%, to close on April 30 at $3.62 a share.