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Nautilus Biotechnology Q4, Full-Year Net Loss Swells as Proteomics Platform Delayed to 2025

This story has been updated from a previous version to include information provided during an earnings call about the timeline for the launch of Nautilus' proteomics platform.

NEW YORK – Nautilus Biotechnology said on Wednesday that its fourth quarter and full-year 2023 net loss swelled as the Seattle-based company continues to prep its single-molecule proteomics platform for commercial launch, which is now expected in 2025.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, 2023, Nautilus reported a net loss of $17.0 million, or $.14 per share, compared to a net loss of $13.4 million, or $.11 per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

The company's Q4 R&D spending jumped 30 percent to $12.5 million from $9.6 million a year ago, while its general and administrative costs increased 12 percent to $7.5 million from $6.7 million. Nautilus noted that the increase in operating expenses was driven primarily by additional hires to support ongoing product development.

Building its new system "requires that a number of meaningful innovations across each element of our platform — consumables, instrument, and software — weave together seamlessly," Nautilus CEO Sujal Patel said in a statement. "We continue to refine each of these platform elements and look forward to getting the collective work of our team into the hands of researchers where it can do so much good."

The planned platform uses chips functionalized with DNA origami structures that allow researchers to deposit single proteins in extremely dense arrays, enabling single-molecule analysis of as many as 10 billion individual proteins. The company had originally targeted mid-2024 for the platform's launch, but that date may need to be pushed back, Patel said in a January interview. On a Wednesday earnings call, Patel confirmed that the launch has now been pushed back to 2025.

"Despite strong progress towards these goals and in the name of ensuring that we launch a product that meets our very high bar for quality and performance, we now plan to launch our proteome analysis platform, instruments, reagents, and software in 2025," Patel said.

"I want to emphasize that we are not currently focused on creating short-term revenue opportunities," Patel added. "By choosing to focus intently on our development objectives, we believe we are positioning ourselves to create the best platform possible and make the maximum positive impact on the marketplace, biological science, and long-term shareholder value."

Nautilus recorded a full-year net loss of $63.7 million, or $.51 per share, compared to a net loss of $57.9 million, or $.46 per share, in 2022.

The company's 2023 R&D spending ballooned 25 percent to $47.3 million from $37.7 million a year earlier, while its general and administrative costs rose 12 percent to $28.9 million from $25.9 million.

Nautilus finished the year with $19.4 million in cash and cash equivalents and $154.0 million in short-term investments.

In midmorning trading on the Nasdaq, shares of the company were down around 1 percent at $2.90.