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Biocept Q1 Revenues Rise 12 Percent as COVID-19 Testing Remains Strong

NEW YORK — Biocept on Monday reported a 12 percent increase in first quarter revenues year over year as higher revenues from COVID-19 testing more than offset lower oncology test revenues.

For the three-month period ended March 31, Biocept's revenues were $19.9 million versus $17.8 million a year earlier. First quarter RT-PCR COVID-19 test revenues rose 11 percent to $18.6 million from $16.8 million in the year-ago period, while oncology test revenues dropped 48 percent to $1.3 million from $2.5 million year on year.

The San Diego-based firm posted revenues of $38,000 in development services test revenue and no revenue for distributed products, Target Selector RUO kits and CEE-Sure blood collection tubes, in Q1 2022. This compares with $39,000 in development services test revenue and $62,000 in revenue for distributed products, Target Selector RUO kits and CEE-Sure blood collection tubes, and payments associated with the development of a RT-PCR COVID-19 assay in the same period last year.

Biocept said it accessioned 153,056 commercial samples in Q1, compared with 141,340 commercial samples in the year-ago quarter.

During the quarter, "we continued to generate strong growth with our proprietary neuro-oncology assay CNSide, with volume up 70 percent sequentially and up 219 percent over the prior-year period," Biocept Chairman and Interim President and CEO Samuel Riccitelli said in a statement. "We also expanded our customer base with six of the leading cancer centers with an increasing number of oncologists placing first-time CNSide orders, and now have more than 40 ordering physicians across the US."

Going forward, he said, Biocept plans to generate evidence of clinical utility to support CNSide reimbursement and its adoption into patient care guidelines through its own and investigator-initiated clinical trials. It will also seek partnerships with biopharma companies developing treatments for CNS tumors or looking to expand indications for existing targeted therapies.

"We also will support our community with RT-PCR COVID-19 testing for as long as necessary, while judiciously exiting our blood-based oncology diagnostics business in order to focus resources on the most promising opportunities involving cerebral spinal fluid," he added. The company plans to reveal further details about its new business strategy on June 7.

Biocept reported a first quarter net loss of $2.8 million, or $.16 per share, on 16.8 million weighted-average shares outstanding, versus a year-ago loss of $2.6 million, or $.19 per share, on 13.7 million average-weighted shares outstanding.

R&D spending in the quarter jumped 90 percent to $1.9 million from $1.0 million in Q1 2021, largely due to investments in a planned clinical trial of CNSide. First quarter SG&A costs, meantime, more than doubled to $10.5 million from $5.0 million a year ago, reflecting severance and stock-based compensation expenses related to separation agreements with former executive management, as well as ongoing mediation with former and current employees regarding sales commissions.

At the end of March, Biocept had cash and cash equivalents totaling $27.6 million.

Riccitelli said in the statement that Biocept expects its cash position to be sufficient to fund operations for at least the next year, including planned investments in CNSide.

In morning trading on the Nasdaq, Biocept's shares were down 4 percent at $1.42.