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Epigenomics' First-Half Revenues Fall 53 Percent

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – German cancer molecular diagnostics company Epigenomics today reported a 53 percent drop in revenues for the first half of 2010 primarily due to revenues from certain service projects and a collaboration with a major drug firm that were recognized in the year-ago period but not in H1 2010.

For the six months ended June 30, Epigenomics recorded revenues of €972,000 ($1.3 million), down from €2.1 million ($2.7 million) a year ago. In its half-year report, the Berlin-based company said that the drop resulted from revenues recognized a year ago from non-recurring service projects and from a collaboration with Abbott related to sample collection that did not contribute to H1 2010 revenues.

As the company concentrates on becoming a product-driven business, however, it said that royalty income from sales of the Abbott RealTime mS9 colorectal cancer assay and Quest Diagnostics' ColoVantage testing service, both based on Epigenomics' proprietary Septin9 biomarker and launched in late 2009 "should also gradually start to contribute to revenue in 2010 with accelerated growth anticipated for 2011 and beyond."

Net loss for the first-half of the year climbed 12 percent to €5.4 million from €4.8million.

R&D spending reached €3.6 million, compared to €3.4 million a year ago, and SG&A costs rose to €2.8 million from €2.1 million in H1 2009.

Epigenomics said that it had €40.1 million in cash as of June 30. During the second quarter, the company raised €33.1 million through a combined private and public share offering. The funds will be used to expand its market for diagnostic tests and develop its product pipeline, and other corporate purposes.

For full-year 2010, the firm said it anticipates revenues to be below the 2009 figure of €4.3 million. In May, it had said that it expected FY 2010 revenues to be at least €5 million.

Among the firm's developments during the first six months of the year was the licensing in the spring of the Septin9 biomarker to Canada-based Warnex Medical Laboratories, which plans to develop it and launch a laboratory-based test for colorectal cancer in the "next few months." In the second quarter, German diagnostic lab Synlab began offering the Septin9-based Epi proColon test, which "makes this innovative test even more broadly available to doctors and patients in Europe," according to Epigenomics.

Last month, the company announced that ARUP Laboratories launched a blood-based colorectal cancer test in the US using the Septin9 biomarker and DNA methylation technologies licensed non-exclusively from Epigenomics.

Epigenomics said this week that it plans to start the process to get regulatory approval in the US for the Epi proColon test and has retained the services of Connecticut contract research organization Docro to help it get US Food and Drug Administration clearance.

PRESEPT refers to the company's case control studies and a prospective clinical cohort study of about 8,000 patients to demonstrate the applicability of the Septin9 biomarker to population-based colorectal cancer screening.

The company added that it "intends to market and sell its Epi proLung test directly in its home markets and to work with distributors in other countries."

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