UBS Warburg Cuts Cytyc to 'Hold'

Analyst Ricky Goldwasser says the environment for cervical cancer screening test just got more competitive

UBS Warburg cut Cytyc (CYTC ) to hold from buy.

Analyst Ricky Goldwasser says her downgrade reflects a change in the competitive environment for cervical cancer screening. She notes Roche acquired a broad HPV (human papillomavirus) patent portfolio from Institute Pasteur. This means Roche can now develop and commercialize screening tests for HPV that compete with a test that Digene owns.

Goldwasser says Roche told her it plans to introduce a test on the market by the end of 2003. She believes the news could put Cytyc's planned acquisition of Digene at risk. She cut her $23 target to $19.

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