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Curetis Reports 36 Percent Increase in H1 Revenues

NEW YORK — German diagnostics firm Curetis reported on Wednesday a 36 percent year-over-year increase in revenues for the first half of 2019.

For the six-month period ended June 30, Curetis — which is set to be acquired by Gaithersburg, Maryland-based OpGen in early 2020 — posted revenues of €1.1 million ($1.2 million) versus revenues of €807,000 in the first half of 2018. The total installed base of the firm's Unyvero sample-to-answer molecular diagnostics system increased to 170 as of the end of June from 162 as of June 30 the year before.

Curetis noted that distribution partner A. Menarini Diagnostics expects to install nine new Unyvero analyzers in the second half of the year with customers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and that most of the 10 refurbished systems already ordered by various distributors are slated for sale by the end of the year.

Curetis' net loss for the first half of 2019 fell to €11.1 million, or €.51 per share, from €11.6 million, or €.73 per share in H1 2018.

R&D spending slipped 11 percent to €4.2 million from €4.7 million. Meantime, administrative costs declined nearly 5 percent to €2.0 million from €2.1 million and distribution costs dropped 21 percent to €3.3 million from €4.2 million, primarily due to a recent reorganization that saw Curetis cut 30 percent of its workforce.

At the end of June, Curetis had cash and cash equivalents totaling €7.8 million.

Looking ahead, Curetis said that it intends to focus on its planned business combination with OpGen, as well as securing funding for the combined entity for at least the next 12 months. In the interim, the company aims to sign additional Unyvero distribution agreements, secure Chinese market clearance for the system and a related pneumonia assay, and continue development of its Unyvero A30 RQ mid-plex system.

Curetis said it is also pursuing R&D and commercial partnerships for its Ares Genetics bioinformatics and next-generation sequencing services subsidiary, which recently forged an alliance with an undisclosed diagnostics company to develop NGS-based infectious disease testing products.

That collaboration follows a feasibility study in which Ares correctly identified all pathogen species and successfully predicted antibiotic resistance for more than 50 drug/pathogen combinations.

The first phase of the collaboration, expected to take about 12 months, will enrich the ARESdb database with a focus on pathogens in an undisclosed infectious disease indication. Ares will also sequence clinical isolates of such pathogens at its NGS laboratory in Vienna. Based on these data, Ares will optimize its algorithms for predicting antibiotic resistance.

The collaboration partner will fully fund Ares for this work. In return for an undisclosed upfront option fee, it also obtains the right of first negotiation for an exclusive human clinical diagnostic use license to ARESdb and the ARES technology platform.