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Biocartis 2017 Revenues Up 74 Percent on Higher Product Sales

This story has been updated from a previous version to include information about BioCartis' new US R&D center.

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Belgian molecular diagnostics firm Biocartis today reported that its full-year 2017 revenues rose 74 percent year over year, driven by a 91 percent jump in total product sales revenues.

For the 12 months ended Dec. 31, Biocartis' total revenues rose to €21.0 million ($25.6 million) from €12.1 million in 2016.

Total product sales rose 91 percent to €12.9 million from €6.8 million, driven by a 68 percent increase in Idylla systems sales to €4.6 million from €2.8 million and a 108 percent jump in cartridge sales to €8.3 million from €4.0 million a year earlier. Within total product sales, commercial revenues rose 124 percent to €12.7 million from €5.7 million a year earlier, while R&D revenues fell 83 percent to €187,000 in 2017 from €1.1 million in 2016.

Collaboration revenues, meanwhile, rose 45 percent to €7.7 million in 2017 from €5.3 million in 2016. Service revenues soared more than 400 percent to €282,000 from €53,000.

The company installed 258 Idylla instruments during the year, bringing its total installed base to nearly 650, and sold more than 71,000 cartridges. Biocartis attributed the growth to initial placements in the US market during the second half of the year. While the firm saw a strong performance in cartridge consumption in the European market, overall volume was slightly below expectations, driven by a slower up-take in distribution in the rest of the world.

Biocartis also noted that four of its tests received CE marking in 2017: the Idylla NRAS Mutation Test, the Idylla EGFR Mutation Test, the Idylla ctKRAS Mutation Test, and the Idylla ctNRAS-BRAF Mutation Test.

Biocartis' net loss for the year narrowed to €42 million, or €.93 per share, from €49.8 million, or €1.21 per share, in 2016.

R&D spending in the year dropped 6 percent to €39.6 million in 2017 from €42.1 million in 2016. The firm's marketing and distribution expenses, meanwhile, rose 12 percent to €11.6 million from €10.3 million, and its general and administrative expenses rose 17 percent to €6.8 million from €5.8 million a year ago.

"Gaining commercial traction in the [US] market will be an important revenue driver for our company going forward and will make Biocartis an ... attractive partner for pharmaceutical companies and diagnostic test content providers," Biocartis CEO Herman Verrelst said in a statement.

To that end, Biocartis also said that it has established an R&D center in the US to improve test menu expansion on the Idylla platform, predominantly through companion diagnostics collaborations and assay content partnerships. The R&D center is the result of a transfer of R&D staff members and Idylla-related assay development assets and tests from Janssen Diagnostics to Biocartis.

At the end of 2017, Biocartis had cash and cash equivalents totaling €112.8 million.

On a conference call with analysts following the release of the earnings, Verrelst said a delay in the launch of the firm's NGS prep panels reflected Biocartis' decision to prioritize "supporting external collaborations. That meant we needed to re-prioritize certain resources to deliver on these commitments, and prepare for future partnerships." The company also said it plans to prioritize the development of a cancer hotspot NGS prep panel to complete the Idylla lung cancer menu.

In 2018, the company expects to install between 250 and 275 new Idylla instruments, which would bring its total install base to 900 to 925. Biocartis also expects commercial cartridge consumption to double from 2017 volumes.

In addition, Biocartis aims to expand its list of test menu options, and is planning to launch assays for lung, colorectal, and breast cancer in H2 2018.

Biocartis further announced this morning that it has obtained a €24 million financing facility from the European Investment Bank. Supported by the EU Finance for Innovators' Infectious Disease Finance Facility, the debt financing facility contains two tranches, each with a minimum of €6 million. The facility can be used to finance up to 50 percent of further investments in infectious disease diagnostics on the Idylla platform.

Biocartis will draw the first tranche within 12 months following signing, and will draw the second tranche within 18 months of the first tranche's disbursement. The facility will have a duration of up to six years.