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NanoString Q1 Revenues Up 23 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – NanoString Technologies reported after the close of the market Thursday that its Q1 revenues rose 23 percent year over year.

For the three months ended March 31, total revenues were $18.1 million compared to $14.7 million in the prior year period, beating the average Wall Street analyst estimate of $17.1 million.

"We had a successful first quarter of 2017, with … solid execution on our strategic objectives for the year," NanoString President and CEO Brad Gray said in a statement. "In particular, we made important progress in building out our commercial channel, launching multiple new products, and advancing our portfolio of new technologies, all of which give us confidence about the trajectory of our business," he added.

The firm's instrument revenues ballooned 31 percent year over year to $4.5 million from $3.4 million, as the firm it grew its installed base to approximately 510 nCounter Analysis Systems as of March 31, 2017.

About half of its instrument sales during the quarter were nCounter SPRINT systems, the company said.

In a call discussing the company's quarterly results, Gray added that NanoString believes that it is strengthening its position in precision oncology, with 80 percent of new systems sales destined for this application specifically.

Consumables revenue rose 26 percent to $10.0 million from $7.2 million. NanoString's Prosigna breast cancer IVD tests brought in $1.4 million in Q1, nearly double the prior year's $772,000.

"Consumables growth benefited from record Prosigna revenue that was driven in part by new reimbursement wins over the last year," Gray said during the earnings call.

Excluding Prosigna, comsumables revenue was $8.6 million for the quarter, 19 percent higher than the comparable period in 2016.

The firm's overall products and services revenues rose 30 percent to $15.8 million from $12.1 million, while its collaboration revenue shrank slightly to $2.3 million from $2.6 million in Q1 2016.

Though collaboration revenue was lower, Gray said that NanoString exited Q1 with more than double the pilot studies it had a year ago, totaling 47 collaborations with 19 different companies. "Our recently expanded business development team is extremely active and we remain confident that we are well positioned to add new CDx collaborations in 2017," he added.

Recent milestones NanoString highlighted include the launch this spring of its PlexSet reagents for high-throughput projects, a new kit supporting low RNA input, and expanded offerings in 3D Biology and immuno-oncology.

After ending the fourth quarter of 2016 somewhat below its own expectations, NanoString said this March that it was embarking on a significant sales and marketing reorganization.

During the firm's earnings call this week, Gray said that the company's planned commercial expansion is on track with about two thirds of a planned 20 new sales positions now filled.

"We expect to be fully staffed by midyear and to begin experiencing the benefit of these investments in the second half," he said,

NanoString's net loss widened to $18.9 million, or $0.87 per share, from $14.6 million, or $.74 per share, a year ago, in line with the consensus Wall St. estimate.

R&D spending increased about 50 percent $10.8 million from $7.2 million a year ago, attributable to increased costs associated with biopharma collaborations, as well as investment in new products and technologies including the company's 3D Biology, Digital Spatial Profiling, and Hyb & Seq technologies. SG&A expenses were up 18 percent at $17.6 million compared to $14.9 million in Q1 2016.

The company ended the quarter with $5.4 million in cash and cash equivalents, and $51.7 million in short-term investments.