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Biocept Q1 Revenues Rise to $1.7M

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Biocept reported after the close of the market on Thursday that its first quarter revenues rose dramatically year over year, influenced by a conversion to accrual-based revenue.

For the three months ended March 31, the liquid biopsy firm's total revenues rose to $1.7 million from $221,369 the prior-year quarter. Within Biocept's overall revenue, $897,000 came from commercial testing and another $61,000 was from the firm's development services.

According to Biocept CFO Tim Kennedy, $726,000 of the company's quarterly revenue was due to the switch from cash-based to accrual-based recognition. However, even without the switch to accrual, the firm's cash revenue still represents 300 percent growth over Q1 2016, he said on a call with analysts discussing Biocept's earnings.

Biocept said it accessioned 1,246 samples during the quarter, up 38 percent from 902 in Q1 2016. Of those, 1,107 were billable tests, also representing a 38 percent increase over the same period last year.

The firm's net loss for the quarter narrowed to $4.4 million, or $.21 per share, from $4.9 million, or $.74 per share, in Q1 2016.

"We are continuing to execute on our 2017 strategic initiatives aimed at driving increased revenues and billable test volumes. Importantly, we recently strengthened our cash position allowing us to expand our commercial organization in order to execute on our plans intended to accelerate growth throughout the year," Biocept President and CEO Michael Nall said in a statement.

Recent achievements highlighted by Nall included Catalyst Pharmaceuticals' agreement in Q1 to use Biocept's Target Selector liquid biopsy platform to screen for cancer in patients enrolled in a clinical trial of its rare disease drug Firdapse (amifampridine phosphate).

More recently, Nall said, Biocept was selected to participate in the Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute's 400-patient clinical trial, which seeks to demonstrate the utility of liquid biopsy in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

On the call, Nall said that because this trial will evaluate the use of liquid biopsy not only in diagnosing but also monitoring patients over time, it has the potential to generate clinical data to support broad usage of Biocept's assay platform in this expanded setting.

Biocept also recently entered a commercial collaboration for liquid biopsy testing with Oregon Health and Sciences University. 

As part of the collaboration with OHSU, the university will be one of the sites participating in a pilot program Biocept announced earlier this year allowing select customers to move part of the firm's liquid biopsy test interpretation into their own labs.

Nall also announced during the call that Biocept has signed a laboratory supply agreement for liquid biopsy testing with a national group of cancer treatment centers. These centers will be using the company's tests for both molecular profiling and monitoring, he said.

Biocept's R&D spending was almost static year over year, rising slightly to $757,258 in Q1 2107 compared to $728,076 in the same quarter last year. Its SG&A expenses rose about 14 percent to $3.2 million from $2.8 million.

The firm ended the quarter with $14.0 million in cash and cash equivalents. It also completed an equity offering raising gross proceeds of $9.3 million on March 31.

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