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Biocept Q2 Revenues Up 45 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Biocept reported after the close of the market on Monday that its second quarter revenues increased 45 percent year over year.

For the three months ended June 30, the San Diego-based liquid biopsy firm saw $1.2 million in revenues compared to the $822,238 it brought in during the same quarter last year.

According to the company, revenue growth reflects a shift in commercial efforts toward specific segments of the oncology market where Biocept believes its assays can help the most patients: prostate, breast, and lung cancer.

The firm's Q2 revenues included $1.1 million in commercial test revenue, $45,000 in development services test revenue, and $28,000 in revenue from sales split between Biocept's Target Selector RUO kits, which were commercially launched in early 2019, and its CEE-Sure blood collection tubes.

During a call discussing the company's results, Biocept CEO Michael Nall said that the firm has signed a second, undisclosed customer for the Target Selector RUO kits. Its first customer, Agiomix, came on in Q1.

According to Nall, the company made approximately $28,000 in kit and blood collection tube orders during the second quarter of 2019, up from $5,000 in the first quarter. "We believe that over time we will see adoption of our kits continue to grow," he said. The company currently expects to receive a CE mark for its first RUO kit, for EGFR mutation detection, by the end of this year.

Biocept accessioned 1,066 commercial samples during the second quarter of 2019, a 26 percent increase compared with 849 commercial samples accessioned during Q2 2018. The firm also reported that it recorded 1,211 billable samples, a 22 percent increase from the 996 it saw in the same period last year.

"We made a strategic decision late last year to focus on prostate cancer and the uro-oncology market, which continues to be a key contributor to our growth," Nall said.

"This year we expanded the biomarkers included in our test menu specifically for the management of prostate cancer and we've added new clients to our customer base including several large urology group practices," he added.

Breast cancer also continues to be an area of focus, Nall said, as does lung cancer. Under a collaboration with Highmark Blue Cross and its subsidiary Allegheny Health, Biocept plans to use its assays to test 100 advanced lung cancer patients, with the goal of demonstrating that liquid biopsy can help improve outcomes and save money. 

"In data recently presented at the National Blue Cross conference, our test identified a treatable biomarker 37 percent of the time and helped 29 percent of tested patients avoid a second biopsy," Nall said.

Nall also highlighted the company's recent launch of two tumor-specific NGS panels, one for lung cancer and one focused on breast cancer genes.

Although Medicare does not currently cover these multi-gene panels, Nall said that Biocept is "working with Medicare contractors and would expect to have a determination on coverage by Q2 of next year."

The company's Q2 net loss was $7.8 million, or $0.38 per share, compared to $6.2 million, or $2.70 per share, in Q2 2018. The calculation of per-share loss in the recently completed quarter was based on 20.5 million weighted-average shares outstanding versus about 2.3 million a year ago.

About $1.8 million of the net loss came from non-cash warrant inducement expenses associated with recognizing the fair value of the inducement warrants Biocept issued in May 2019.

Biocept's R&D expenses in Q2 rose 10 percent to $1.1 million from $1 million, mainly due to the development and validation of the Target Selector NGS Lung and NGS Breast panels, the company said. Its SG&A expenses rose about 6 percent to $3.3 million from $3.1 million.

The company finished the quarter with $12.6 million in cash and cash equivalents.