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BioMerieux Q1 Revenues Up 16 Percent Aided by Strong Clinical Applications Growth

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – BioMérieux today reported that its first quarter revenues rose 16 percent year over year, driven in large part by growth in clinical applications including FilmArray molecular diagnostic products.

The firm also said today that its FilmArray Respiratory Panel 2 Plus has received the CE mark, and that it has submitted a 510(k) application to the US Food and Drug Administration for the panel.

For the three months ended March 31, BioMérieux reported revenues of €568 million, up from €488.5 million in the prior-year period. Organic growth, at constant exchange rates and scope of consolidation, was about 14 percent year over year.

Revenues for the clinical applications business, which includes microbiology, molecular biology, and immunoassays, rose 17 percent to €460.7 million from €392.9 million in Q1 2016.

Microbiology, the largest segment within clinical applications, rose 11 percent to €229.2 million from €206.9 million in Q1 2016. BioMérieux said that within microbiology, the BacT/Alert blood culture line continued to have "robust sales growth," and sales of the Vitek automated identification and antibiotic susceptibility testing range rebounded sharply because of a particularly steep rise in instrument sales in all of sales regions. Billings for culture media also drove growth, albeit to a lesser extent, the firm said.

Molecular biology revenues increased 48 percent to €118.6 million from €80.2 million in the prior-year period. FilmArray sales provided the main driver, growing at around 60 percent to more than €100 million in sales, the firm said, reflecting a more intense and longer-lasting flu season than in Q1 2016 in the US and Europe. BioMérieux noted that sales of the respiratory panel as a percentage of total FilmArray reagent sales were higher year-on-year, and were aided by ongoing growth in sales of meningitis/encephalitis and gastrointestinal panels. The firm reported an installed base of 4,500 FilmArray units at the end of Q1.

Also within clinical applications, immunoassays contributed €111.7 million in Q1, up 7 percent from €104.1 million in Q1 2016. The firm said that its Vidas BRAHMS PCT procalcitonin biomarker test delivered double-digit growth in the US, despite increased competition. Other business lines within clinical applications were down 31 percent to €1.2 million from €1.7 million

Industrial applications revenues in Q1 grew 17 percent to €100.2 million from €86.0 million in Q1 2016, reflecting an acceleration in sales growth in the firm's three regions. BioFire Defense revenues dropped 38 percent to €5.1 million from €8.2 million in the prior-year period. Applied Maths logged €1.6 million, up 167 percent from €600,000 in Q1 2016, and R&D related revenue dropped 50 percent to €400,000 from €800,000.

From a regional perspective, BioMérieux sales in the Americas were up 26 percent to €267.5 million from €212.8 million year over year. In Europe, sales were up 5 percent to €216.9 million from €206.9 million, and in Asia-Pacific sales were up 21 percent to €81.6 million from €67.4 million.

The firm's newly CE marked FilmArray Respiratory Panel 2 Plus tests for 22 pathogens, including 18 that are viral and 4 that are bacterial that produce respiratory tract infections. It will be commercially available in the countries that recognize CE marking by mid-June 2017.

BioMérieux noted that the panel advances the existing FilmArray Respiratory Panel by reducing the assay time from about an hour to less than 45 minutes, improving overall sensitivity, and updating several assays. It also includes two additional pathogens: Bordetella parapertussis, a causative agent of whooping cough, and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus.

The firm noted several highlights for Q1. In January, for example, it announced a collaboration with Banyan Biomarkers, which specializes in traumatic brain injuries, obtaining the rights to develop and market Banyan’s proprietary tests worldwide for use on the Vidas platform.

In February, it received 510(k) clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration for expanded use of its Vidas BRAHMS PCT test for lower respiratory tract infections and sepsis.

Earlier this month, BioMérieux said that the FDA had given 510(k) clearance to its BacT/Alert Virtuo automated blood culture system.