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Biocept Q1 Revenues Rise on Test Volume Increases

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) - Biocept reported after the close of the market Thursday that its first quarter revenues increased 47 percent year over year, primarily due to growing commercial test volume.

For the three months ended March 31, the company's total revenues rose to $221,369 from $150,002 the prior year's quarter.

The liquid biopsy firm said it tested 810 billable samples during the first quarter of 2016, up from 289 billable cases during the first quarter of 2015.

The firm's commercial assay revenues grew by $52,000 and its development services revenues grew by $19,000 year over year.

In a call discussing the firm's Q1 earnings, Biocept executives highlighted the fact that the company's quarterly revenue growth was substantial even with a several-week pause in billing during which the firm assessed and updated its billing and collections processes.

"Multiple factors were hindering billing and collections," Biocept President and CEO Michael Nall said."  As a result, Biocept decided it had to identify each of these factors though a comprehensive review, which required several weeks during which Biocept paused all billing.

"This pause is reflected in our revenues for the quarter … [and] we have billed or will bill these cases in the second quarter and expect to receive collections in subsequent quarters," he said.

According to Nall, Biocept also made substantial progress on a variety of priorities to drive growth in its commercial test volume during Q1 2016, including expansion of its test menu with a new androgen receptor CTC assay and the formation of a new clinical advisory board that the company hopes can help guide it in driving test adoption.

Nall said during the call that Biocept is already seeing continued physician adoption of its test — having received orders from approximately 400 accounts representing affiliations with more than 550 physicians at this point — but that it anticipates that feedback from a meeting with its new advisory board last month will help accelerate things even further.

During the quarter, Biocept also made some strides in reimbursement, namely an agreement with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois in January giving the health plan's members access to Biocept's menu of circulating tumor cell and circulating tumor DNA tests.

The firm's net loss for the quarter rose to $4.9 million, or $0.25 per share, from $3.8 million, or $.37 per share, in Q1 2015. The company attributed the increased loss to its overall business growth and continued expansion of its sales and marketing organization.

Biocept's R&D spending increased 12 percent year over year to $728,076 from $651,420, while its SG&A costs rose to $2.8 million from $2 million.

The company exited the first quarter with $4.6 million in cash and cash equivalents.

Shares of Biocept's stock were down about 21 percent at $ 0.64 in Friday morning trading on the Nasdaq.