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OncoCyte Q3 Net Loss Narrows

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – OncoCyte said after the close of the market on Tuesday that its third quarter net loss narrowed year over year as it continues to advance the development of its flagship liquid biopsy test toward commercialization.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, the Alameda, California-based diagnostic developer incurred a net loss of $3.0 million, or $.07 per share, compared to a loss of $6.9 million, or $.22 per share, in the year-ago period.

OncoCyte did not report any Q3 revenues.

The company's Q3 R&D expenses shrank 17 percent to $1.5 million from $1.8 million in Q3 2017, and its SG&A expenses sank 70 percent to $1.5 million from $5.0 million. Oncocyte said it used $2.5 million in cash in its operations for Q3 2018, compared to $3.5 million during Q3 2017, and that the reduced cash used in operating activities in the current quarter was mostly the result of staff reductions and executive sabbatical programs implemented last quarter.

The firm ended the quarter with $10.8 million in cash and cash equivalents and $830,000 in marketable securities. The cash balance included $3.3 million raised during Q3, net of financing expenses, from an at-market registered direct offering of common stock and warrants.

"During the third quarter and subsequent period, we made significant progress on our DetermaVu development plan by completing the transition to a new diagnostic testing platform that is yielding very consistent and reliable data," Oncocyte President and CEO William Annett said in a statement. "Using this equipment, we have now run over half of the 700 blood samples that are being used in our algorithm development study. This study will establish a proprietary mathematical algorithm that will be used to interpret test results for DetermaVu. Once all samples have been run, development of the algorithm will begin, and we expect its completion next month."

Annett also noted that once this algorithm has been derived, Oncocyte will then move on to conduct a validation study to determine the accuracy of DetermaVu to within approximately plus or minus eight percentage points. Once the study is complete by the end of 2018 or early 2019, the firm anticipates being able to confirm "whether we have a commercially viable diagnostic test poised to address the multi-billion-dollar market for a liquid biopsy lung cancer diagnostic test," Annett added. "If the test's accuracy is maintained in the planned studies, we plan to make DetermaVu commercially available in the second half of 2019."   

Assuming DetermaVu is launched in the second half of 2019, Oncocyte said it also plans to conduct a clinical utility study in 2020 to track and demonstrate a net improvement in patient outcomes and cost savings for the healthcare system.