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Novacyt H1 Revenues Surge on Coronavirus Testing Product Sales

NEW YORK — French diagnostics firm Novacyt on Thursday posted a more than 900 percent year-over-year jump in revenues for the first half of 2020 due to strong sales of its PCR-based SARS-CoV-2 test and related products.

For the six-month period ended June 30, Novacyt's revenues were €72.4 million ($85.4 million) versus €7.2 million a year earlier, in line with preliminary revenue figures the company provided in July. 

First-half revenues from Novacyt's Primerdesign PCR business accounted for the lion's share of the firm's total revenues, surging more than 2,000 percent to €70.6 million from €3.3 million in the same period a year ago. Primerdesign revenues included sales of the Primerdesign COVID-19 Genesig Real-Time PCR assay, which received Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration in March.

"The significantly strengthened cashflow has enabled us to … settle all outstanding debt," Novacyt CEO Graham Mullis said in a statement. "The company's market-leading position in COVID-19 PCR testing has resulted in an increased customer base and a reputation for innovation and high performance of our products, enabling us to forge a number of strategic partnerships."

In April, Novacyt partnered with AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, and the University of Cambridge to boost SARS-CoV-2 testing in the UK, and it signed a supply contract for the Primerdesign COVID-19 Genesig Real-Time PCR assay with the UK Department of Health and Social Care. The company said it also signed a US distribution deal for the test with an undisclosed partner. 

Novacyt posted a H1 profit of €40.2 million, or €.61 per share, versus a year-ago loss of €2.0 million, or €.05 per share.

R&D spending in the first half of 2020 rose 159 percent to €593,000 from €229,000 as Novacyt expanded its portfolio of SARS-CoV-2 products, which include the recently launched COVID-HT high-throughput test and the Exsig Direct and Exsig Mag extraction kits. SG&A costs, meanwhile, climbed 120 percent to €11.0 million from €5.0 million.

As of June 30, Novacyt had cash and cash equivalents totaling €19.7 million.

Looking ahead, the firm said full-year 2020 revenues are expected to top €150 million, with financial growth continuing into the first half of next year amid ongoing SARS-CoV-2 testing.

Longer term, Novacyt said that it intends to create a direct sales force in certain markets, establish a presence in the US and undisclosed European nations, launch new products to expand its presence in respiratory and transplant clinical diagnostics, and evaluate merger and acquisition opportunities.