NEW YORK – Exagen announced after the close of the market Tuesday that its first quarter revenues grew 10 percent year over year.
For the three months ended March 31, the San Diego-based autoimmune diagnostics firm posted $10.6 million in revenues, up from $9.6 million a year ago. It bested the consensus Wall Street estimate of $10.5 million.
It said that it delivered 29,029 flagship Avise CTD tests, including Avise Lupus, during the recently completed quarter, a 7 percent year-over-year increase, while the number of ordering providers rose by 4 percent to 1,763, including 659 adopters. Testing revenue was $10.3 million, up from $9.6 million a year ago on increased testing volumes.
On a conference call to discuss the firm's financial results, Ron Rocca, Exagen's president and CEO, said that the pandemic had limited patients from freely visiting providers, which had inhibited their ability to get tested. Despite this limit, the company was able to achieve several records in the quarter for testing volume and ordering providers, Rocca said.
During the quarter, Exagen also signed in-network agreements with Tufts Medical Center and St. Charles Health System. Rocca said the firm was "in queue" with a lot of payers to discuss coverage of its Avise tests and will be "getting in front of as many of these payers as we can this year."
In March, the firm completed a $64.7 million follow-on public offering of common stock, which it said it will use to focus on growth initiatives and working capital. Rocca said the offering will help the company expand its pipeline and laboratory.
"With our expanded sales force and over 67 million lives in-network, we continue to build on our momentum with March recognized as an all-time record volume month," Rocca said in a statement. "With the additional capital raised in the first quarter, we are making further investments in our world-class R&D organization and focusing on new products that will improve patient care, improve efficiencies, and build upon our already robust portfolio."
Exagen's R&D spending in Q1 2021 more than doubled to $1.4 million from $634,000 in Q1 2020, while its SG&A costs rose 4 percent to $10.0 million from $9.6 million. Rocca noted that the company's research and development team is continuing work on a liquid biopsy rule-in/rule-out test for fibromyalgia.
Exagen is also working to expand its molecular and multiomics capabilities by adding markers from RNA to its current CB-CAPS protein markers, which should enable a more sophisticated and earlier diagnosis for autoimmune diseases, Rocca said. The company is using next-generation sequencing for its molecular efforts, he added.
The firm's net loss for Q1 2021 was $6.2 million, or $.48 per share, compared to a net loss of $5.6 million, or $.44 per share, a year ago. It slightly missed the consensus Wall Street estimate for a loss of $.47 per share.
The company exited the recently completed quarter with $118.1 million in cash and cash equivalents.
Exagen reaffirmed its full year 2021 guidance for revenues between $47 million and $49 million. CFO Kamal Adawi said the guidance includes expected testing revenues between $46 million and $48 million. He added that Exagen anticipates continued growth, with every quarter in the year increasing revenues from the preceding quarter.