NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Quidel reported after the close of the market on Wednesday that its third quarter revenues rose 131 percent year over year, missing Wall Street estimates.
For the three months ended Sept. 30, revenues increased to $117.4 million from $50.9 million in Q3 2017, missing the average analyst expectation for revenues of $120.1 million. The increase was driven by incremental revenue from the recently-acquired cardiac immunoassay business as well as 60 percent revenue growth in the firm's molecular diagnostics business, offset by a 3 percent decline in rapid immunoassays.
Quidel's molecular business revenue grew to $4.5 million from $2.8 million, in part due to 88 percent growth in revenue from the firm's Solana molecular diagnostics system.
Rapid Immunoassay product revenue, which includes revenue from the QuickVue, Sofia, and Eye Health products, decreased 3 percent in the quarter to $35.4 million from $36.5 million, primarily due to the timing of influenza orders in Q3 compared the prior-year period. Revenue from the Cardiac Immunoassay business segment, which includes Triage, Triage Toxicology, and the Beckman BNP products, grew 4 percent compared to $65.3 million.
For the Sofia platform, utilization is increasing due in part to an "add an assay" program to encourage menu uptake, Quidel President and CEO Doug Bryant said in a call to recap the earnings. The firm also has approximately 9,000 users reporting their Sofia test data to its cloud-based Virena system. From this, Quidel has seen an uptick in influenza cases early in this year's flu season that are a bit ahead of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention surveillance system.
Specialized Diagnostics Solutions revenues increased 5 percent to $12.3 million from $11.7 million.
Revenue for influenza products overall was $21.6 million compared to $23.1 million in the third quarter last year.
In the quarter Quidel launched a CLIA-waived assay to detect antibodies to Lyme disease-causing organisms in finger-stick whole blood samples. It also received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration for assay to detect the causative agents of whooping cough.
Following the Lyme assay clearance, the firm saw some immediate customer adoption, Bryant said. Over 90 percent included an agreement for some of Quidel's other molecular products, mainly Flu, Strep A, and RSV. "The collateral benefit that we had gained through those closes was larger than we had expected," Bryant said, adding that the company has also seen adoption and evaluation by a few major urgent care centers.
Quidel's Q3 net income was $10.8 million, or $.27 per share, compared to a net loss of $5.5 million, or $.16 per share in the prior year. On an adjusted basis, the company reported earnings per share of $.59, beating the Wall Street estimate of $.49 per share.
The company's R&D costs rose to $13.1 million from $7.5 million due to incremental expense for the Triage business and increased investment in the Savanna MDx system. Its SG&A jumped 84 percent to $37.1 million from $20.2 million due to expenses associated with the global infrastructure for the Triage business. Quidel CFO Randy Steward also noted in the call that some of the SG&A increase was due to Quidel's build out of its global support teams in Galway, Ireland, and Shanghai, China.
Quidel has a number of products in development. It expects to launch a next-generation Triage troponin assay by the end of this year in Europe, Bryant said. "Our second-generation Triage toxicology test was submitted to the FDA at the end of September and we plan for a Q2 2019 launch," he said, noting that the firm believes this could be $30 million annual opportunity. Quidel is also continuing to develop its Savanna platform and expects several assays to launch in 2020, with initial product introduction in Europe in 2019. The system is designed to be able to run small molecular diagnostic panels, which Bryant noted may be particularly advantageous given the recent decision by Medicare administrative contractor Palmetto that the use of small multiplex viral panels in susceptible populations may be reasonable and necessary.
Quidel finished the third quarter with $38.7 million in cash and cash equivalents.
In mid-morning trading on Nasdaq, Quidel's stock was down about 2 percent to $65.34.