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WaferGen Biosystems Q1 Revenues Up 68 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – WaferGen Biosystems reported after the close of the market on Tuesday that its first quarter revenues rose 68 percent, driven primarily by a sharp increase in product revenues.

For the quarter ended March 31, the company reported revenues of $1.9 million, up from $1.1 million in the year-ago period. Product revenues rose 85 percent, primarily attributable to increases in sales of WaferGen's SmartChip NGS target enrichment system and sales from the Apollo benchtop platforms business. License and royalty revenue fell 66 percent from the prior year Q1. The company also placed two additional ICell8 Single-Cell Systems in Europe.

"We have placed four ICell8 Single-Cell Systems since our initial launch in October of 2015, and are extremely pleased with our sales pipeline," WaferGen President and CEO Rollie Carlson said in a statement. "Based on the feedback we are receiving from potential customers, leading biopharmaceutical companies and academic institutions, the demand for our ICell8 Single Cell System is strong." 

On a conference call with analysts, Carlson said the company's commercial strategy involves expanding direct sales in the US and Europe, and partnering with distributors in the European Union and Asia. Revenue growth in Europe in Q1 was higher than European revenue growth for all of 2015, he added.

Carlson further noted that while WaferGen is particularly focused on sales of the ICell8 system, it is also paying close attention to its base business. The company placed three Apollo 324 NGS Library Prep systems in Europe during the quarter, and signed a supply agreement with gynecologic pathology and molecular testing services PathAdvantage Associated to use SmartChip PCR products for microorganism identification testing.

WaferGen's base business pipeline looks "compelling," Carlson added.

WaferGen's net loss for the quarter narrowed to $4.4 million, or $.24 per share, from $4.8 million, or $.85 per share, a year ago.

Its R&D expenses for the quarter fell 8 percent to $2.3 million from $2.5 million in Q1 2015, while its SG&A costs rose 11 percent to $3.1 million from $2.8 million.

WaferGen ended the quarter with $10.9 million in cash and cash equivalents. Carlson told analysts the company's cash runway extends into 2017.

For full year 2016, the firm continues to expect revenues of $12.0 million to $13.0 million. Carlson said he believes the company is well positioned for meaningful sales growth through the rest of the year.

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