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Bolstered by Sales of MassArrays, Sequenom s Q1 Revenues Surge

NEW YORK, April 24 –Buoyed by sales of seven new MassArray genotyping systems, Sequenom reported a substantial spike in first-quarter 2001 revenues Tuesday, while losses narrowed and beat expectations.

"Milestones and growth achieved during the first quarter have bolstered both our genomics  and systems businesses, and we are aggressively expanding our leadership position in the market," said Toni Schuh, Sequenom’s CEO, in a statement. 

The company’s Q1 revenues increased to $5.2 million, over $1.6 million for the year-ago quarter. Meanwhile, Sequenom’s losses narrowed to $7.0 million, or 29 cents per diluted share, compared to $14.3 million in losses for the first quarter of 2000 and beating Wall Street’s expectations of 44 cents per share by 15 cents, according to a survey of four brokers conducted by FirstCall/Thomson Financial.  

The company’s expenses increased to $14.3 million for the first quarter, compared to $13.0 million in total costs and expenses for the first quarter of 2000. The company attributed this increase to an expansion in staff, the opening of its new San Diego genotyping facility, and expansion of its SNP validation services.  Sequenom’s R&D expenses increased to $5.3 million, but it’s Sales, general and administrative expenses decreased to $4.5 million, and amortization on deferred compensation also decreased to $291,000.       

Sequenom derived over $3.7 million in revenues from sales of MassArray systems to Quest Diagnostics, HiberGen, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Galileo  Genomics , a second system to the Whitehead Institute, and two undisclosed customers. Nissei Sangyo, Sequenom’s Japanese distributor, also sold a system to Japan's National Cancer Center. This brings the number of MassArray systems Sequenom has sold to 29, the company said.       

Sequenom’s other major source of revenue included $1.5 million it received for the SNP analysis services it provides for other companies. One of its collaborations, a SNP identification partnership with Incyte Genomics, has to date yielded over 1.3 million SNP assays, and 600,000 that actually are being used to validate the medical utilities of SNPs.   

During the quarter, Sequenom also began a collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline on SNPs related to type 2 diabetes, and with the Novartis Research Foundation to create a SNP map of the mouse. Through an internal SNP discovery program, the company said it has identified more than 30 candidate disease genes and has patented each gene. 

"In addition to our significant revenue growth rate, we are particularly pleased with progress made using our disease gene discovery program,” Schuh said. The identification of the disease genes “demonstrates our ability to capture a strategic intellectual property position covering candidate genes with validated medical utility. By the very nature of our approach, we know that the candidate genes identified impact the health of large segments of the population. We are performing similar studies through collaborations, many of which are the largest of their kind in the industry. “ 

Sequenom will discuss its results in a conference call at 10AM EST.  

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