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Bionano Genomics Lays off 7 Percent of Employees as Q1 Revenues Rise 30 Percent


NEW YORK – Bionano Genomics reported after the close of the market on Tuesday that it has laid off about 7 percent of its workforce as part of a cost reduction plan.

In an email, Bionano President and CEO Erik Holmlin said the staff reduction, which took effect on Monday, impacted employees "across most departments."

As of Dec. 31, 2022, Bionano had 405 employees, of which 168 worked in sales, sales support, and marketing; 130 in research and development; and 107 in general and administrative positions, according to a regulatory filing. Of the total, 342 employees were based in the US and 63 were employed overseas.

Besides the workforce reduction, Bionano announced other strategies to reduce its cash burn by approximately $20.0 million over the next four to five quarters. These include fewer new hires for the remainder of the year and a smaller safety stock of inventory due to reduced supply chain risk, as well as more efficient operations and cuts to previously planned spending.

Despite its efforts to curb costs, the company will "continue to prioritize and invest in high-priority programs which support the ongoing adoption of optical genome mapping as well as important new product launches," Holmlin told investors in a conference call recapping the first quarter financial results.

Specifically, he outlined three major product launches planned during the second quarter. The first is a high-throughput optical genome mapping (OGM) system, which promises to increase the throughput of the current Saphyr system by approximately fourfold initially and 13-fold down the road. Holmlin said the instrument has been deployed with some early customers since late 2022, and the company hopes to reach full production capacity of the platform in the first half of 2024.

The second product launch is a high-throughput Saphyr compute system developed in collaboration with Nvidia, which aims to significantly improve data processing speed while reducing the time and cost associated with secondary analysis of OGM data.

In addition, Holmlin said the company plans to fully commercialize its Via software, which is currently named NₓClinical. The software will initially focus on applications in hematologic malignancies, with a version for whole-genome constitutional analysis slated to be launched by the end of this year.

Looking beyond the second quarter, Holmlin said the company anticipates holding preliminary pre-submission discussions with the US Food and Drug Administration by the end of the year in support of FDA clearance of the new OGM platform.

During Q1, Bionano's Chinese original equipment manufacturing (OEM) partner, Beijing Genome Precision Technology (BGPT), obtained reagent class I registrations from China's National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) for Bionano's DNA extraction and labeling products. Holmlin said BGPT is now working on registering the Saphyr platform with the NMPA. Once registered, the instrument can be sold to hospitals in China.

For the quarter ended March 31, Bionano booked $7.4 million in revenues, a 30 percent year-over-year increase compared to $5.7 million in the same quarter a year ago and in line with the company’s pre-announced revenue range of $7.3 million to $7.5 million.

Revenues consisted of $5.4 million in product revenue, up 29 percent from $4.2 million in Q1 2022, and $2.0 million in service and other revenue, a 33 percent increase from $1.5 million in the prior-year period.

Bionano said it expanded its installed base of Saphyr systems to 259 during the quarter, representing 47 percent growth over Q1 2022. It also sold 5,226 nanochannel array flow cells during Q1, a 62 percent year-over-year growth from 3,225 in the prior-year quarter.

The company's R&D expenses were $13.9 million for the quarter, up 32 percent from $10.5 million a year ago. Its SG&A costs totaled $26.0 million, a 28 percent increase from $20.3 million in Q1 2022.

The firm's net loss for the quarter was $37.1 million, compared to $30.0 million a year ago. It did not report a per-share loss.

Between April 17 and April 28, the closing price of Bionano’s common stock was below $1.00 for 10 consecutive business days, reaching a low of $.68 per share on April 21. This prompted Holmlin to issue a letter to company shareholders last week seeking their support for a reverse stock split at the upcoming annual stockholder meeting on June 14.

"While we don't believe our current share price reflects the progress we are making, we do acknowledge the challenging state of the capital markets and are taking the prudent steps to extend our runway," Bionano CFO Chris Stewart told investors.

Bionano ended the first quarter with $91.7 million in available-for-sales securities, $4.1 million in cash and cash equivalents, and $400,000 in restricted cash.

"We have been and will continue to be proactive in identifying the best path to raising the capital we need," said Stewart. Bionano raised $14.8 million during Q1 with an at-the-market (ATM) offering, selling 9.5 million shares at an average price of $1.60. The company is also "actively working on strategies" to raise additional capital this year, including evaluating non-dilutive options alongside issuing equity, he added.

For full-year 2023, Bionano reiterated its revenue guidance of $35.0 million to $38.0 million. The company’s Q2 revenues are expected to be in the range of $7.8 million to $8.3 million.

In early morning trading on the Nasdaq, Bionano's shares were up about 7 percent at $.79.