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In Brief This Week: Sophia Genetics, Sense Biodetection, Yourgene, Biodesix, DermTech, Chembio, More

NEW YORK – Sophia Genetics said this week that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Microsoft under which the Sophia DDM Platform for analyzing complex multimodal data sets for precision medicine will be made available through Microsoft's Azure cloud computing platform. The new partnership builds on an existing collaboration by enabling providers utilizing Azure to scale their ability to aggregate multimodal data types to extract insights within existing workflows, Geneva, Switzerland-based Sophia said.

Sense Biodetection announced this week that it has entered into a strategic agreement with medical distributor Biotecom for non-exclusive distribution of Sense's Veros COVID-19 testing platform in Chile. The point-of-care test uses a proprietary rapid amplification technology to return results in 15 minutes without an instrument. The agreement marks Sense's entry into the South American market, the firm said in a statement. Sense has recently signed distribution deals for the test in Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.

Yourgene's first-half 2023 revenues declined 45 percent year over year to £9.6 million ($10.75 million). The firm said the decline was a result of a transition away from COVID services post-pandemic. Excluding COVID-related activities, its revenues were up 14 percent year over year at £8 million versus £7 million for the first half of 2022. The Manchester, UK-based firm noted that its Genomic Technologies business brought in revenues of £6.1 million for the six months ended Sept. 30, up 10 percent from revenues of £5.5 million. Within that segment, its non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) revenue was up 18 percent year over year. Yourgene also reported Genomic Services revenue growth of 26 percent to £1.9 million with NIPT services up 50 percent year over year.

Biodesix said this week that its total revenues grew 71 percent to $11.1 million for the third quarter from $6.5 million a year ago. The firm's core lung revenues grew to $9.2 million from $4.5 million in Q3 2021, and COVID-19 revenues were up to $1.3 million from $506,000, while biopharma service revenues slipped to $664,000 from $1.5 million. Biodesix had a net loss of $13.7 million, or $34 per share, for the recently completed quarter compared to a net loss of $11.5 million, or $.41 per share, a year ago. It finished the three months ended Sept. 30 with $15.2 million in cash and cash equivalents. For full-year 2022, the company said revenues are expected to be at the high end of its previous guidance of between $37.5 million and $39.5 million.

DermTech on Thursday reported third quarter revenues of $3.4 million, up 13 percent from $3.0 million in Q3 2021. The La Jolla, California-based dermatology genetic tests maker reported that its billable sample volume grew 54 percent year over year to 18,080.

In a statement, DermTech CEO John Dobak lamented that despite the growth in billable sample volume "sequential growth was flat due to headwinds caused by limited commercial payer coverage."

Its net loss for the quarter climbed to $28.8 million, or $.96 per share, from $20.1 million, or $.68 per share. The higher loss partly due to increased expenses with R&D costs rising to 5.7 million from $4.4 million year over year, and SG&A expenses jumping to $23.4 million from $16.0 million.

DermTech finished the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $95.5 million and short-term marketable securities of $53.6 million.

Chembio Diagnostics reported this week that its revenues for the third quarter ending Sept. 30 declined 7 percent year over year to 11.2 million from 12.1 million the prior year quarter. The company's product revenue grew 16 percent, to about $10.8 million from $9.4 million a year earlier, and the company also saw gains in its R&D and license and royalty revenues. The company also cut its research and development spending by nearly half, to $1.9 million from $3.4 million. But it had no government grant revenue during Q3 2022, down from $2.4 million in Q3 2021. Chembio recorded a Q3 net loss of $6.7 million, or $.21 per share, up slightly from a net loss of $6.4 million, or $.24 per share a year ago. The firm had $21.1 million in cash and cash equivalents as of Sept. 30.

Talis Biomedical this week reported that its Q3 2022 revenues more than tripled to $796,000 from $218,000 in the prior-year quarter. Product revenue rose to $730,000 in the quarter after not recording any in Q3 2021, driven by antigen testing sales, and grant revenue declined to $66,000 from $218,000. Net loss was $26.0 million during the quarter, compared to $38.4 million in the third quarter of 2021. The company had $148.3 million in unrestricted cash and cash equivalents as of Sept. 30. During the quarter, Talis announced it would be cutting its workforce by 35 percent and stopping commercialization efforts for its standalone COVID-19 test to refocus on women's and sexual health.

MGI Tech this week opened its second overseas customer experience center (CEC) in Europe. The new London-based site, which will be operated by Imperial College London's BRC Genomics Facility, aims to provide local customers and partners with first-hand experiences with MGI's instruments, the company said. The center is equipped with MGI's automation systems as well as UK's first DNBSeq-G400 sequencer.

Oncoshot, a Singapore-based company specializing in oncology clinical trial matching, said this week that it is collaborating with Singapore's Icon Cancer Centre and Roche to facilitate more comprehensive genomic profiling data to increase access to clinical trial options for cancer patients. Oncoshot said that through this collaboration the partners will be able to easily identify cancer patients who are a match for existing clinical trials being run within their networks. Furthermore, real-time population matching will enable companies and clinical research organizations on the Oncoshot clinical trial platform to engage Icon as a preferred clinical trial center, increasing patient access to clinical trial options for their cancer. For its part, Roche will provide comprehensive genomic profiling data from tests that analyze over 300 genes known to drive cancer growth, Oncoshot said.

In Brief This Week is a selection of news items that may be of interest to our readers but had not previously appeared on GenomeWeb.