NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Biocept reported after the close of the market on Thursday that its second quarter 2017 revenues climbed to $1.3 million, up 93 percent from $663,000 in Q2 2016 when including the conversion of accrual-based revenue recognition, and up 64 percent excluding the impact of the conversion.
The San Diego, California-based liquid biopsy firm also announced that it secured a $2.2 million investment from Ally Bridge LB Healthcare Master Fund, which it said would help it grow its business. The firm also plans to work with Ally Bridge to evaluate strategic opportunities in China.
"China is of great interest," Biocept CEO Michael Nall said during a conference call discussing Biocept's Q2 performance. One potential opportunity would be to partner with a Chinese company to develop in vitro diagnostic kits. The country has "an advanced diagnostics market and liquid biopsy is gaining traction."
In addition, there are more than 450,000 newly diagnosed cases of lung cancer in China every year, he said. Developing an IVD for the Chinese market would require partnering with a company there, he said, due to differences in the market that include not being able to send clinical samples outside of the country.
Biocept's Q2 2017 revenues included $1.2 million in commercial test revenues and $84,000 in development services test revenue.
Its net loss for the quarter was $5.7 million, or $.21 per share, up from $4.6 million, or $.60 per share, in Q2 2016.
The company processed 1,405 total samples, including both clinical and research samples, in Q2 2017, up 16 percent from the prior-year period of 1,212 samples. Of the total samples, 1,225 were billable in Q2 2017, 9 percent more than the 1,126 samples that were billable in the year-ago quarter.
In a statement, Nall said that the increase in tests accessioned could be attributed in part to a marketing campaign that it launched at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in June to "highlight the advantages of combining liquid biopsy and tissue biopsy for patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer."
In addition, Nall noted that the company has made progress in obtaining reimbursement from third-party health plans. During the quarter, Biocept entered into health plan contracts with Scripps and MediNcrease, he said. Other highlights in Q2 included the launch of a new liquid biopsy test for progesterone receptor as well as the issuance of a patent in the US and Japan for its core TargetSelector technology, he said.
Nall said during the call that the firm has seven objectives for the second half of 2017: increase the number of tests sold, reduce the cost per sample, expand its test menu, capitalize on its patents, forge collaborations with oncology institutions, increase the number of health plans that reimburse its tests, and launch a new initiative it calls TCPC for technical component and professional component.
Under the TCPC strategy, Biocept will run its tests in its own CLIA labs per usual, but for the circulating tumor cell analysis portion, it will send images of the cells to the pathologist for analysis. Such a plan would be attractive to pathologists because they can be reimbursed for the analysis portion, Nall said. He added that it is a common practice for tissue biopsies and could be amenable for liquid biopsies as well.
Biocept's R&D expenses were $841,991 in Q2 2017, up from $716,279 in Q2 2016, while SG&A expenses were $3.5 million, up from $2.8 million in Q2 2016.
Biocept ended the quarter with $10.0 million in cash.