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Veracyte Q1 Revenues Rise 70 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Veractye's first quarter revenues increased 70 percent year over year, the molecular cytology firm announced after the close of the market on Thursday.

The South San Francisco, Calif.-based company said that for the three months ended March 31, revenues rose to $7.5 million from $4.4 million in the year-ago quarter as it received 14,373 fine need aspiration samples during the recently completed quarter, compared to 10,757 in the first quarter of 2013.

"We continued to accelerate our business in the first quarter of 2014," Veracyte President and CEO Bonnie Anderson said in a statement. "This included strong payer progress, notably the first positive coverage policy for Afirma from a Blue Cross plan."

The company said that it had recently secured a positive coverage policy from Premera Blue Cross for Veracyte's Afirma Gene Expression Classifier for thyroid cancer diagnosis. The insurer covers about 1.5 million customers in the Pacific Northwest US.

Other recent highlights include a deal announced last week with Fleury Medicine and Health to make Afirma available in Brazil, and a positive coverage decision for the test from Cigna in December.

"We look forward to continuing to build upon our strong commercial momentum for Afirma and remain on track with development of our next product, which will target interstitial lung diseases," Anderson added.

Veracyte posted a net loss of $6.7 million, or $.32 per share, in Q1 2014, compared to a net loss of $6.9 million, or $9.04 per share, a year ago. The company went public in November, netting $58 million in proceeds, and used 21.1 million shares to calculate the per-share loss figure for the recently completed quarter, compared to 763,021 shares in Q1 2013.

It increased its R&D spending 5 percent year over year to $2.1 million from $2.0 million and upped its SG&A spending 51 percent to $8.3 million from $5.5 million.

The company said it had $64.2 million in cash and cash equivalents as of March 31.