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Burning Rock, Bayer to Develop NGS-Based Companion Diagnostics in China

NEW YORK – Burning Rock Biotech announced on Thursday that it has partnered with Bayer to develop next-generation sequencing-based companion diagnostic tests for patients in China. 

Under the collaboration, the companies will jointly develop NGS tests to serve as companion diagnostics for Bayer's portfolio of precision cancer therapies. 

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

"Burning Rock is committed to the comprehensive development of companion diagnostics on a global scale, and we believe that through the integration of our resources and expertise in the field of cancer diagnosis and treatment, this collaboration will set a standard and high-quality model for the joint development of precision diagnostics," Burning Rock Founder and CEO Yusheng Han said in a statement. "We aim to make a greater contribution to the advancement of precision oncology, providing more effective treatment options for patients and setting new benchmarks in the medical field." 

Earlier this year, Bayer inked a similar deal with Thermo Fisher Scientific to jointly develop NGS-based companion diagnostics. 

Separately this week, Burning Rock announced its Q1 2024 financial results. The Guangzhou, China-based company reported that its total revenues for the quarter were RMB 125.6 million ($17.4 million), down 12 percent from RMB 142.5 million in Q1 2023. The firm said that the decrease was due to the transition from central laboratory testing to more hospital-based testing and noted that the in-hospital business grew 11 percent year over year to RMB 57.4 million from RMB 51.6 million. 

Revenues from the firm's central laboratory business were RMB 47.6 million, down 23 percent from RMB 61.8 million in Q1 2023. Pharma research and development services revenues were RMB 20.6 million, decreasing 29 percent from RMB 29.2 million for the same period in 2023. 

Net loss for the quarter was RMB 121.5 million, or RMB 1.19 per share, compared to a loss of RMB 185.3 million, or RMB 1.81 per share, in Q1 2023. 

Burning Rock ended the quarter with RMB 572.6 million in cash and cash equivalents, and RMB 58,000 in restricted cash. 

The company says it currently expects to achieve breakeven for full-year 2024.