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Biocept Q2 Revenues Fall 37 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Biocept reported after the close of the market on Tuesday that its second quarter revenues dropped 37 percent year over year.

For the three months ended June 30, the San Diego-based liquid biopsy firm saw $822,238 in revenues compared to $1.3 million a year ago.

According to the company, the drop resulted in part from a change in commercial revenue recognition to a method based on accruals from one based on cash. Based on accruals only, the firm's revenues for Q2 2017 would have been only $1.1 million, Biocept said.

Biocept's earnings during the recently completed quarter included $761,000 in commercial test revenues, $52,000 in development services test revenues, and $9,000 from sales of the company's research-use-only CEE-Sure blood collection tubes through a previously announced international distribution agreement with VWR.

Biocept President and CEO Michael Nall highlighted the shipping of the first blood collection tubes as a milestone in the company's transition from a reference laboratory to a diagnostic kit manufacturer. The firm plans to launch its research-use-only liquid biopsy kits in early 2019.

Biocept accessioned 1,029 test samples in Q2 2018 compared with 1,405 in the year-ago quarter. Of those, 996 were billable samples, down from 1,225 billable samples during the second quarter of 2017.

The company's Q2 net loss was $ $6.2 million, or $2.70 per share, compared to $5.7 million, or $6.32 per share, in Q2 2017. The calculation of per-share loss in the recently completed quarter was based on 2.3 million weighted-average shares outstanding versus about 900,000 a year ago.

Biocept closed a public offering of its common stock in late January, raising $13.3 million in net proceeds.

Nall noted that Biocept has been working to strengthen its financial position and completed a shareholder rights offering this week which raised approximately $11.6 million in gross proceeds.

He added that the company also retired its long-term debt in July, reducing annual cash expenditures by more than $2 million.

The company is refining its sales strategy, he added, focusing more tightly on lung cancer profiling and monitoring where it believes the need for its liquid biopsy tests is highest. "Our sales team are educating physicians by utilizing case reports that were published in peer-reviewed journals earlier this year, along with the clinical guidelines issued by four prominent industry associations supporting the use of liquid biopsy testing in patients with lung cancer," Nall said in a statement.

During a call discussing the firm's earnings, Nall added that Biocept's current plan is to maintain its sales force at its current size. That said, the company does expect to gain approval to market its tests in New York state later this year, at which point it would add one new sales rep.

Biocept's R&D expenses in Q2 rose 21 percent to $1 million from $841,991 mainly due to personnel additions to support Biocept's development of new biomarker assays and associated increased laboratory costs, the company said. Its SG&A expenses shrank 11 percent to $3.1 million from $3.5 million due to lower headcount-related expenses and cost reduction efforts initiated in the second quarter of 2018.

The company finished the quarter with $2.6 million in cash and cash equivalents.

In morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange, shares of Biocept were down more than 9 percent at $3.30.