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Biocept Q1 Revenues Up 27 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Biocept reported after the close of the market on Wednesday that its first quarter revenues increased 27 percent year over year.

For the three months ended March 31, the San Diego-based liquid biopsy firm saw $1.0 million in revenues compared to $806,943 a year ago. These included about $976,000 in commercial test revenues and $42,000 from development services testing. The firm posted $6,000 in other revenues.

Biocept accessioned 1,325 total samples in the quarter, a 13 percent increase over 1,170 total samples in Q1 2018. Of these, 1,155 were billable samples, a 7 percent increase year over year.

Though the company continues to process relatively few samples compared to some competitors in the liquid biopsy market, CEO Michael Nall said during a conference call discussing the firm's earnings that Biocept believes the steps it took last year to reinvigorate its test volume are paying off.

"We are now close to our historical peak of test volume per quarter and we anticipate that we will continue to grow test volume by focusing on various segments of the liquid biopsy market where our technologies can best be utilized," he said.

Nall attributed the company's year-over-year growth, in part, to its Empower TC pathology partnership offering, which allows pathologists to perform, and bill for, certain aspects of the company's tests in house.

The firm also saw an increase in physician usage of its liquid biopsy tests for breast cancer monitoring using circulating tumor cells, and recognized initial revenue from its research-use-only kits, which it launched in January, Nall said. The company is now applying for a CE mark for its first EGFR kit in Europe, expecting approval in the second half of this year.

Finally, Nall officially announced the commercial launch of Biocept's Target Selector NGS Lung, assay, a multigene liquid biopsy test, developed with technology from Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Biocept's Q1 net loss shrank to $5.9 million, or $.61 per share, from $6.4 million, or $3.33 per share, in Q1 2018. The company used approximately 9.8 million shares to calculate per-share loss in the recently completed quarter compared to about 1.9 million for the year-ago period.

During the past year, the firm has made several public offerings of its securities, including in February, January, and August.

Its R&D expenses in Q1 rose 9 percent to $1.2 million from $1.1 million due primarily to costs associated with the development of new individual assays, and to efforts to validate the Target Selector NGS Lung panel with Thermo Fisher. The firm's SG&A expenses shrank 13 percent to $3.1 million from $3.5 million, reflecting ongoing cost containment efforts, it said.

Biocept finished the quarter with cash and cash equivalents totaling $14.8 million.