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Biocept Posts $3.9M Loss in Q3, Announces New Lung Cancer Test

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Biocept reported today that its third quarter net loss increased 34 percent year over year, as the firm expanded initiatives in its fledgling oncology diagnostics business.

The San Diego-based company, which specializes in circulating tumor cell analysis, posted a net loss of $3.9 million, or $.87 per share, for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, up from $2.9 million, or $15.72 per share, in 2013.

The per-share figure reflects an increase in outstanding shares used to calculate its loss per share, which increased to 4,449,603 from 181,954 shares used for the calculation in Q3 2013. Biocept went public in February 2014.

The firm's Q3 revenues decreased 69 percent to approximately $10,000 from approximately $32,000 in Q3 2013.

"We continued to execute our strategy during the quarter as we commercialized our testing by marketing to physicians and other healthcare providers," Michael Nall, CEO of Biocept, said. He also noted that the firm expanded its existing relationship with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and entered into a partnership with Rosetta Genomics to advance its circulating tumor cell technology platform.

The firm's R&D spending for the quarter increased to $1.3 million, up 34 percent year over year from $975,000. Its SG&A spending increased to $1.9 million from $812,000 in Q3 2013, primarily due to the addition of a 10-person sales and marketing team hired to commercialize the firm's tests.

Biocept reported cash and cash equivalents of $8.8 million as of the end of the quarter.

Earlier this week, the firm announced the launch of its new liquid biopsy lung cancer test OncoCEE-LU, a blood-based assay for prognosis, monitoring, and therapy selection in non-small cell lung cancer patients that will be performed at the firm's CLIA-certified laboratory. The test is based on biomarker analysis of circulating tumor cells and circulating tumor cell DNA.

"A liquid biopsy, or blood based genomic test, has the advantage of being far less invasive than a surgical biopsy, therefore being appropriate for diagnostic and, importantly, monitoring purposes. This gives physicians insight into the molecular status of the patient in real time so that therapeutic changes can be made for better patient outcomes," Lyle Arnold, chief scientific officer of Biocept, said in a statement.

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