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Exact Sciences Cuts Q4 Loss on Reduce Costs

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Exact Sciences reported after the close of the market yesterday that its fourth-quarter net loss shrunk by nearly half on reduced spending.

The Marlborough, Mass.-based molecular diagnostics developer brought in license fees of $338,000 for the quarter compared to $337,000 in license fees for the fourth quarter of 2007. The fourth quarter of 2007 also included product sales of $6,000 compared to none for Q4 2008.

During the quarter, Exact made a roughly $450,000 payment to Laboratory Corporation of America under a royalty obligation compared to a comparable payment of nearly $1 million in Q4 2007.

Exact's net loss for the fourth quarter of 2008 was $2.1 million, or $.08 per share, compared to a net loss of $4 million, or $.15 per share, for Q4 2007. The reduction in its net loss was due primarily to lower spending.

Exact's R&D spending dropped to $70,000 in the quarter from $1.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2007, while its SG&A spending dropped slightly to $1.9 million from $2 million.

For full-year 2008, Exact had revenues of $1.4 million compared to $2.9 million for 2007. The firm said that the revenue decline was due to a $1.5 million reduction in non-cash license fee amortization revenues in 2008 compared to the prior year.

The company recorded a charge of $2.2 million in 2008 related to its third-party royalty obligation to LabCorp compared to a similar charge of $1.1 million in 2007.

Exact's 2008 net loss was $9.7 million, or $.36 per share, compared to a 2007 net loss of $12 million, or $.44 per share.

The firm finished the year with $4.9 million in unrestricted cash and cash equivalents.

In January, Exact sold to Genzyme certain intellectual property assets related to the fields of prenatal and reproductive health in a deal that is expected to provide the firm with a cash infusion of $24.5 million. The deal helped the firm fend off a hostile takeover attempt by Sequenom.

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