This article has been updated to include comments from a conference call and a stock quote.
NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Genomic Health said today that sales for its Oncotype Dx breast cancer assay rose 78 percent for the first quarter ended March 31, and the firm shaved 4.3 percent off of its net loss year over year.
Genomic Health reported total revenues of $23.4 million, up 65.2 percent from revenues of $14.1 million in the first quarter of 2007. Sales of Oncotype Dx were $23.3 million versus $13.1 million in Q1 2007.
“We believe that first-quarter product revenue growth of 78 percent and growth in tests delivered of 68 percent represents further evidence that physicians are incorporating Oncotype DX as standard practice and that payers are supporting this trend by expanding coverage for appropriate patients,” Randy Scott, chairman and CEO of Genomic Health, said during the firm’s conference call.
“We believe the increase in tests delivered this quarter reflects the impact of the ASCO and NCCN treatment guidelines, the increase in coverage we are seeing among the payer community, and the growing evidence supporting the clinical utility of Oncotype DX,” said President and COO Kim Popovits during the call.
In an updated set of guidelines for using breast cancer tumor markers, the American Society of Clinical Oncology in October recommended using Oncotype DX. In January, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network added the test to its 2008 Breast Cancer Treatment Guidelines.
“We continue to make progress in reimbursement this past quarter by increasing the number of covered lives by 21 million, bringing overall coverage to approximately 80 percent of US insured lives,” said Popovits.
“Positive coverage policies were established with several Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans including plans in Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Iowa, and North Dakota, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kansas, and Rhode Island, as well as with the Health Alliance Plan of Michigan. In addition, WellPoint, the largest private health benefits provider, expanded it's coverage of Oncotype DX," she said.
The Redwood City, Calif.-based firm posted a net loss of $6.6 million, or $.24 per share, compared with a net loss of $6.9 million, or $.28 per share, a year earlier.
Its R&D spending increased 23.1 percent to $6.4 million from $5.2 million, while its SG&A costs rose 50 percent to $18.3 million from $12.2 million year over year.
Genomic Health finished the quarter with $14.4 million in cash and cash equivalents.
In early Wednesday afternoon trading on the Nasdaq, shares of Genomic Health were down 6.3 percent at $19.62.