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Guardant Health Q3 Revenues Up 23 Percent

NEW YORK – Guardant Health reported after the close of the market on Thursday that its third quarter 2020 revenues were up 23 percent year over year.

The liquid biopsy firm reported total revenues of $74.6 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30 compared to $60.8 million in the same period of 2019, beating the consensus Wall Street estimate of $65.9 million.

Guardant's oncology testing revenues in Q3 2020 rose 16 percent year over year to $60.4 million from $52.1 million. Development services revenues jumped up 65 percent to $14.2 million from $8.7 million in Q3 2019.

The company reported 16,950 tests to clinical customers in Q3 2020, a 28 percent increase from 13,259 tests reported in the same period last year. The firm also reported 3,071 tests to biopharmaceutical customers during the quarter, 42 percent fewer than the 5,280 tests reported in Q3 2019.

"Our strong performance in the third quarter is a testament to our team’s dedication, as they stay focused on executing for our customers and on our pipeline programs," Guardant Cofounder and CEO Helmy Eltoukhy said in a statement. "While we expect to continue to see impacts related to the pandemic in the fourth quarter, we are confident that the fundamentals of our business are firmly intact."

On a call discussing the firm's results, Eltoukhy added that the quarter represented a return for Guardant to testing and revenue levels it had seen in mid-March, before the broadening of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US.

However, he added, the same should not be assumed going forward. "Over recent weeks there has been a resurgence of COVID cases in some regions across the United States and we are seeing some early signs indicating that this resurgence will adversely affect clinical volumes as renewed or continued office closures are resulting in overall reduced in-person cancer patient visits and limited access," he said.

The firm had already withdrawn its initial guidance for the year and said this week that it will continue to hold-off on any full-year projections due to this uncertainty.

Among milestones for the quarter, Guardant launched two new versions of its core Guardant360 liquid biopsy genotyping assay. The first is Guardant360 CDx, which was approved in August by the US Food and Drug Administration for solid tumor profiling, and as a companion diagnostic to detect EGFR mutations in non-small cell lung cancer patients for treatment with osimertinib (AstraZeneca's Tagrisso).

"We expect FDA approval to strengthen reimbursement by advancing conversations with private payers and further improving Medicare pricing, extending momentum for our companion diagnostics business and advancing the use of Garden 360 with physicians who have been slow to adopt a comprehensive genomic profiling over the medium to long term," Eltoukhy said.

The company also announced a next-generation version of its non-FDA-approved Guardant360 laboratory-developed tests, which it said provides higher performance than previous versions and features a number of notable genomic additions. These include new homologous repair deficiency genes that can help guide the use of PARP inhibitor, NTRK2 and NTRK3 fusions, and what Etoukhy called a "best in class tumor mutational burden, or TMB score."

During Q3, Guardant's net loss attributable to its shareholders swelled to $77.7 million, or $0.78, from $12.8 million, or $.14 per share in the year-ago quarter. Analysts, on average, had predicted a much lower loss per share of $.38.

The company's R&D expenses rose 41 percent year over year to $36.2 from $24.6 million in Q3 2019. Its SG&A expenses were up 160 percent at $91.4 million compared to $35.2 million.

As of Sept. 30 Guardant had $142.9 million in cash and cash equivalents and $870.5 million in short-term marketable securities.