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Trovagene Reports Flat Q3 Revenues; Halves Net Loss

This article has been updated from a previous version to include comments from Trovagene's Q3 earnings call.

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Trovagene reported after the close of the market on Monday flat year-over-year third quarter revenues as it trimmed its net loss in half.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, 2015, the San Diego-based molecular diagnostics developer reported $57,000 in revenues. The company reported $51,000 in royalty revenue compared to $57,000 a year ago, and $6,000 in diagnostic service revenue compared to none in Q3 2014.

Trovagene's net loss was $2.7 million, or $.23 per share, compared to $5.4 million, or $.28 per share, in the year-ago period. The company said that the decrease in net loss was primarily due to changes in the fair market value of derivative instruments during the third quarter of 2015 compared to the year-ago period, partially offset by increased operating expenses.

The company's R&D expenses jumped 25 percent to $2.5 million from $2.0 million, while its SG&A expenses spiked 85 percent to $3.7 million from $2.0 million.

During the third quarter Trovagene formed a Trovagene Research Institute subsidiary in Europe, and named Alberto Bardelli as scientific chair. The goal of the institute is to expand the capabilities and adoption of the company's Precision Cancer Monitoring platform in Europe. The PCM technology is designed to detect and quantitate oncogene mutations in cell-free DNA collected from patient urine for improved disease management.

In addition, earlier this year the company initiated a "clinical experience program" — a limited and highly controlled rollout of its PCM platform. In a conference call following release of the company's Q3 earnings, Trovagene executives noted that this program has now concluded.

"While the pilot exposed areas where some adjustments are needed, it also validated that our products and services are ready to serve a large unmet need for oncologists and their patients undergoing therapy," Matthew Posard, Trovagene's executive vice president and chief commercial officer, said during the call.

Posard noted that the company had originally set a 60-day goal to sign up 30 physicians through the end of June. By day 12 it had acheived its goal, and by day 60 of the effort it had signed up 171 physicians. Now, as the company moves into the next phase of its commercial rollout, it has 240 clinicians signed up to use the platform.

"So far we have seen up to two months from the time that physicians sign up for the program to the time that they submit their first sample," Posard said. "This is primarily due to patients' scheduling and the ability of our sales team to schedule follow-up visits. Because of this there are some physicians who have not yet sent in their first sample."

Posard noted that Trovagene is making adjustments to address these issues and help accelerate the rate of physician conversions. "Nevertheless, the physicians that are actively using our assays are providing us with a pipeline of information with respect to the real clinical need and utility of our test," Posard said.

Trovagene finished the quarter with $74.2 million in cash and cash equivalents. In July, Trovagene closed a public offering of its common stock, bringing in about $40.3 million in gross proceeds.

In Tuesday morning trade on the Nasdaq, shares of Trovagene were up 2 percent at $4.71.