NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Belgian molecular diagnostics firm Biocartis Group today reported a 9 percent decline in full-year 2016 revenues, as a drop in collaboration revenue offset strong demand for its real-time PCR-based Idylla platform and test cartridges.
For the year, Biocartis' revenues slipped to €12.1 million ($12.7 million) from €13.3 million in 2015. Product sales jumped 88 percent to €6.8 million from €3.6 million, driven by a 20 percent rise in Idylla system sales to €2.8 million from €2.3 million and a 210 percent jump in cartridge sales to €4 million from €1.3 million a year earlier. However, collaboration revenue fell 46 percent to €5.3 million from €9.7 million.
The company installed 224 Idylla instruments over 2016 — bringing its total installed base to nearly 390 — and sold more than 25,000 cartridges. Biocartis attributed this growth to an expansion of its test menu, growing awareness of the Idylla technology among end users, increased interest from pharmaceutical firms, and the recent CE marking of its tissue-based Idylla NRAS-BRAF mutation test.
Biocartis posted a net loss of €49.8 million for 2016 compared with a net loss of €39.8 million in 2015.
R&D spending in the year climbed 15 percent to €42.1 million in 2016 from €36.6 million in 2015, while general and administrative costs declined 13 percent to €5.8 million from €6.7 million. Marketing and distribution expenses increased 18 percent to $10.3 million from $8.7 million.
At the end of 2016, Biocartis had cash and cash equivalents totaling €83.2 million.
In 2017, the company expects to install between 250 and 275 new Idylla instruments, which would bring its total installed base to 640, while annual commercial cartridge consumption is expected to grow at more than three times 2016's volume. Biocartis also anticipates securing 510(k) clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration for the Idylla system and respiratory IFV-RSV panel test, expanding its oncology menu to include a number of new tests including a liquid biopsy version of the Idylla EGFR mutation assay. It also anticipates getting CE marking for the Idylla liquid biospy ctNRAS-BRAF mutation test, which was developed in collaboration with Germany's Merck and launched today for research use only.
Biocartis also announced that Rudi Pauwels is stepping down as its CEO to concentrate on the longer term strategy of the firm, including "a pathway towards a next-generation sequencing-based product offering." Pauwels will become the chairman of a new strategy committee of the board. Deputy CEO Hilde Windels is now the interim CEO. Biocartis said it expects a successor to Pauwels to be named in the coming months.