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NanoString Revenues Climb 28 Percent in Q1

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – NanoString Technologies reported after the close of the market on Tuesday that its first quarter revenues grew 28 percent year over year.

For the three months ended March 31, total revenues were $23.1 million compared to $18.1 million in the prior-year period and surpassing the average Wall Street estimate of $21.6 million.

"Our teams delivered a strong first step toward achieving the financial goals we outlined in March, and we've established good momentum heading into the second quarter," NanoString CFO Tom Bailey said on a call discussing the company's financial results.

According to NanoString CEO Brad Gray, the company is focused on growing adoption of its nCounter platforms and consumables, but another central mission for the company this year will be to prepare the market for the 2019 launch of its Digital Spatial Profiling (DSP) instrument.

Gray reported that NanoString initiated nine new customer projects under its technology access program for the DSP during the first quarter of this year, brining the total number of such projects to 40.

"We've also expanded our menu of DSP panels … and introduced the first DSP panel for neuroscience, a field with a strong spatial orientation component," he added.

More recently, the firm said it was partnering with five contract research organizations to expand access to the DSP even further.

NanoString's Q1 instrument revenues rose 5 percent year over year to $4.7 million from $4.5 million, as the firm grew its installed base to approximately 640 nCounter Analysis Systems.

About 40 percent its new instruments installed during the quarter were nCounter SPRINT systems, Gray said during a call discussing the firm's earnings.

The firm's consumables revenue rose 15 percent to $11.5 million from $10.0 million in the same period last year, of which Prosigna breast cancer tests brought in $2.2 million, a more than 50 percent increase over $1.4 million in Q1 2017.  

Nanostring generated $18.0 million overall in products and services revenue, a 14 percent increase over $15.8 million in the first quarter of 2017. And collaboration revenue rose to $5 million from $2.3 million year over year.

Net loss rose to $19.2 million, or $.75 per share, from $18.9 million, or $.87 per share, a year ago, narrowly beating the consensus Wall St. estimate for a loss of $.76 per share.

According to Bailey, while NanoString is not altering its guidance for the year, the company feels that it exceeded its own expectations in the first quarter. "We feel confident about the trajectory of the business," he said.

The company spent $13.8 million on R&D during the quarter, about 28 percent more than the $10.8 million in Q1 2017. According to the company, this was due to continuing investments in NanoString's newer technologies, including Digital Spatial Profiling and Hyb & Seq technologies, as well as increased costs associated with collaborations.

Its SG&A expenses were up 11 percent at $19.4 from $17.6 in the year-ago quarter.

NanoString ended the quarter with $15.7 million in cash and cash equivalents, and $44.9 million in short-term investments.

In Wednesday morning trade on the Nasdaq, shares of NanoString were up 2 percent at $10.16.