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Biodesix Q1 Revenues Soar on COVID-19 Testing

NEW YORK – Biodesix reported on Tuesday following the close of the market that its first quarter revenues increased almost sixfold year over year, primarily due to a jump in COVID-19 testing.

For the three months ended March 31, the Boulder, Colorado-based firm reported revenues of $28.9 million, compared to $5.1 million in the same period a year ago, beating the average Wall Street estimate of $26.3 million.

Biodesix posted $23.2 million in COVID-19 testing-related revenues, which did not exist in Q1 of 2020.

Lung cancer diagnostic revenues were $4.0 million, up 11 percent from $3.6 million in the year-ago period, and biopharma services revenues were $1.7 million, up 13 percent from $1.5 million in Q1 of 2020.

On a call with investors following the release of the earnings, Biodesix CFO Robin Cowie said that biopharma services remain a significant long-term opportunity for Biodesix as it begins to ramp up testing in 2021.

During the quarter, Biodesix secured a $30 million term loan to repay outstanding debt of $25.9 million under a loan with Innovatus Life Sciences.

In April, Biodesix noted that it plans to add a blood-based next-generation sequencing test to its portfolio, which it plans to begin offering in Q1 of 2022. The firm said that the assay, which runs on Thermo Fisher Scientific's Ion GeneStudio S5 system, has a three-day turnaround time and will be used for advanced, late-stage, or recurrent cancer mutation detection in non-small cell lung cancer.

Biodesix CEO Scott Hutton added that the firm had initially offered the NGS test for biopharma research and clinical trial use in 2018. While he declined to provide information about Biodesix's commercial strategy for the NGS assay, he said those prior collaborations with biopharma partners will help shape the firm's commercial plans.

"The [NGS] test will complement the GeneStrat ddPCR test and VeriStrat proteomic test currently offered with the expanded coverage of broader molecular markers," Hutton said. "[It] expands our comprehensive portfolio of products focused on solving complex diagnostic challenges in lung disease."

In addition, Biodesix partnered with GenScript Biotech last month to conduct performance verification of the cPass SARS-CoV-2 Neutralization Antibody Detection test in its lab, which is expected to launch later this year.

"The [cPass] test has the potential to identify individuals who may have antibodies capable of preventing the virus from infecting the cells," Hutton said. "We believe that the cPass test could be important in understanding long-term protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2."

Hutton also highlighted data from Biodesix's Primary Immune Response assay and other tests that were presented at the 2021 virtual American Association for Cancer Research meeting last month. The firm aims to address the potential of using proteomic testing to support physicians' treatment decisions.

Biodesix's net loss in the first quarter was $7.0 million, or $.26 per share, down from a net loss of $9.7 million, or $37.18 per share, in the prior year quarter. Analysts, on average, had estimated a net loss of $.17 per share. The company used about 26.6 million shares to calculate per-share loss in the past quarter, compared to 261,000 shares in Q1 of 2020.

The firm's R&D costs rose about 14 percent to $3.3 million from $2.9 million a year ago. Meanwhile, selling, marketing, general, and administrative costs rose about 47 percent to $11.9 million from $8.1 million.

Biodesix ended the quarter with $55.3 million in cash and cash equivalents.

In morning trading on the Nasdaq, Biodesix's shares were down 6 percent at $13.82.