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Vermillion Posts $431K in Q1 Revenues

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Vermillion said today that its revenues rose to $431,000 in the first quarter, compared to $73,000 in Q1 2010, as more than 3,000 of its OVA1 ovarian cancer tests were performed.

The firm's results fell short of analysts' expectations of $520,000 in revenues.

For the three months ended March 31, product revenues came in at $317,000, compared to none a year ago, and licensing revenues were $114,000, up from $73,000 a year ago.

The firm said that about 3,080 OVA1 tests were performed during the first quarter, representing a 5 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2010. It forecast 3,200 to 3,500 tests to be performed during the second quarter.

The company also said that it launched the test in India on May 4. On a conference call following the earnings release, Gail Page, chair of the board and CEO, said that the initial strategy will be to target private payers and selected markets such as Mumbai and Delhi. In the meantime, the company will start efforts to secure government reimbursement for the test there.

Vermillion also continues to evaluate other international markets in Asia, Europe, and South America with Quest, its partner in the US, and other potential partners, Page said.

She also announced that Vermillion and Qiagen have partnered to create a pilot medical education program launching in June that will offer gynecologists "the latest in gynecological cancer diagnosis." The program will launch in six locations in the US and will be targeted to general gynecologists.

The program will provide information on detecting and managing ovarian and cervical cancers, and both firms expect to offer the program in the third and fourth quarters on a wider basis.

The company also is progressing on its OVA2 test and its collaborator on the test, the Johns Hopkins University, has presented initial data that describe biomarkers that can improve on the clinical specificity of CA125, the protein biomarker conventionally used for ovarian cancer diagnostics, Page said.

Eric Fung, CSO of Vermillion, added on the call that the company is a little more than half-way into enrolling patients for an intended-use study for its peripheral artery disease test. Vermillion plans to have an algorithm developed for the test in the third quarter and to have some top-line data. It then would proceed to a pre-IDE meeting with the US Food and Drug Administration.

For the first quarter, the firm's net loss declined 63 percent to $4.3 million, or $.34 a share, from a net loss of $11.6 million, or $1.14 a share, a year ago. That matched analyst expectations.

Its R&D spending rose to $1.2 million, a 60 percent increase from $748,000. SG&A costs rose 57 percent to $3.6 million from $2.3 million.

Vermillion ended the quarter with $40.2 million in cash and cash equivalents.

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