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Chembio Diagnostics Q3 Revenues Rise 24 Percent, Granted EUA for Ebola Test

NEW YORK (360Dx) – Chembio Diagnostics reported after the close of the market on Thursday that its third quarter revenues rose 24 percent year over year. 

For the three months ended Sept. 30, Chembio reported revenues of $9.4 million compared to $7.6 million in the prior-year quarter.

Product sales rose 30 percent to $7.9 million from $6.1 million. R&D, milestone, and grant revenues were flat year over year at $1.3 million, and license and royalty revenues rose 52 percent to $228,553 from $150,000 a year earlier.

The US Food and Drug Administration said on Friday that it had issued an emergency use authorization for the firm's rapid, single-use test for the detection of Ebola virus. It's the second Ebola rapid antigen fingerstick test available under EUA but the first to use a portable battery-operated reader, which can help provide clear diagnostic results outside of laboratories and in areas where patients are likely to be treated, the FDA said.

Chembio CEO John Sperzel said in a statement that in Q3 the firm advanced product development, regulatory, and operational initiatives that it believes will provide "significant growth opportunities."

Chembio closed the acquisition of OpTricon, a privately-held developer and manufacturer of hand-held analyzers for rapid diagnostic tests. In October, Chembio had inked a definitive agreement to acquire OpTricon for $5.5 million in cash.

During the quarter Chembio also filed a CE mark application for a point-of-care Dual Path Platform (DPP) test to detect an undisclosed biomarker through an AstraZeneca-funded collaboration and development program.

The firm said that it received a $10.5 million purchase commitment for 2019 from Bio-Manguinhos for the production of DPP HIV and DPP Leishmania assays in Brazil and their subsequent supply to Brazil's Ministry of Health.

Further, it completed an underwritten public offering that brought in an estimated $16.6 million.

For the third quarter, the firm's net loss widened to $2.3 million, or $.16 per share, compared to a loss of $584,661, or $.05 per share, in the prior-year quarter.

Chembio's R&D spending in the third quarter rose 6 percent to $1.9 million from $1.8 million a year earlier, while SG&A expenses increased 30 percent to $3.0 million from $2.3 million. The increase in SG&A expenses was primarily due to merger and acquisition expenses and increased headcount, the firm said.

At the end of September, Chembio had cash and cash equivalents of $6.8 million.

In Friday morning trading on the Nasdaq, shares of Chembio were down more than 1 percent to $7.13.