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OncoCyte Q1 Net Loss Widens, Company Continues to Expect Test Launch This Year

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – OncoCyte said today that its net loss rose about 60 percent in Q1 2017 compared to the same quarter in 2016, but it believes it is on track to launch its first test for lung cancer later this year.

The liquid biopsy firm's net loss for the three months ended March 31, 2017 was $4.7 million, or $0.16 per share, compared to a loss of $2.9 million, or $0.12 per share, for the prior year's first quarter.

According to OncoCyte, the $4.7 million net loss included a $1.1 million — $0.04 per share —  noncash expense related to issuance of warrants to certain shareholders as an inducement to exercise warrants. The company did not report any revenues.

Along with its financial report, OncoCyte also said that it plans to discuss data next month on a 300-patient R&D validation study at the American Thoracic Society's 2017 International Conference in Washington DC.

"We made significant progress during the first quarter towards the commercialization of our lung cancer diagnostic product," OncoCyte CEO William Annett said in a statement. "We believe the data on our test being presented in May demonstrates the robustness of our science and strengthens our market position."

Annett added that OncoCyte believes the total addressable market for its lung cancer test could be over $4 billion.

"Our focus over the next few months is to complete the development process, obtain CLIA certification of our laboratory, and prepare for our anticipated commercial launch in the second half of the year," he explained.

The company submitted an application for CLIA certification of its lab in March, and said today it expects to receive that certification during the second quarter of 2017.

OncoCyte's R&D expenses in Q1 were $1.8 million compared to $1.7 million in Q1 2016. Its SG&A spending increased to $2.7 million from $1.2 million, attributable both to the company's $1.1 million noncash expense and to increased staffing for the expected commercial launch of the firm's lung cancer diagnostic later this year.

As of March 31, 2017, OncoCyte said it had $11.4 million in cash and cash equivalents.