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Centogene Q4 Revenues Grow Almost Fivefold, Driven by COVID-19 Testing

NEW YORK – Centogene on Thursday morning reported an almost fivefold increase in year-over-year revenues for Q4 of 2020, driven by its COVID-19 testing business.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, revenues for the Rostock, Germany-based firm totaled €70.3 million ($84.1 million) compared to €15.2 million in Q4 of last year, handily beating the average Wall Street estimate of $50.8 million (€42.4 million).

COVID-19 testing revenues, which did not exist in Q4 of 2019, totaled €59.8 million, while core diagnostic testing revenues were €5.8 million, down 19 percent from €7.2 million a year ago. Pharmaceutical revenues totaled €4.7 million, down 41 percent from €8 million last year.

During a conference call to discuss the financial results with investors, CEO Andrin Oswald said that the company's intake of patient samples for diagnostic testing started to recover last year from a dip that peaked in the second quarter and that Q1 2021 numbers are "on par" with those of Q1 2020.

Centogene did not break out its net loss, R&D expenses, or SG&A expenses for Q4.

For full-year 2020, the company reported €128.4 million in revenues, more than doubling its 2019 revenues of €48.8 million, and beating analysts' average estimate of $120.2 million (€100.4 million).

COVID-19 testing, which did not exist in 2019, contributed €89.3 million to full-year revenues. The firm's core diagnostic revenues shrank 19 percent to €22.1 million from €27.3 million in 2019, while its pharma revenues decreased 21 percent to €17 million from €21.5 million the previous year.

In diagnostics, 2020 revenues from noninvasive prenatal testing declined 21 percent to €2.2 million from €2.8 million, but Oswald pointed out that NIPT is no longer the firm's focus. Revenues from other testing declined 19 percent to €19.9 million from €24.5 million. Sample order intake for 2020 declined to 116,000 from 134,000 in 2019.

On the pharma side, revenues from existing contracts rose 10 percent to €16 million from €14.5 million, while revenues from new contracts (signed within the previous 12 months) declined 86 percent to €1 million from €7 million. However, Centogene expects revenues from new contracts to pick up in 2021, Oswald said. The firm signed 16 new deals with pharmaceutical firms in 2020 including nine involving clinical trial support and five for sponsored genetic testing. It expects more deals to be signed over the next couple of months, he added.

In a separate announcement this week, Centogene said that it has extended its partnership with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company to diagnose patients with certain genetic disorders. Under the agreement, now extended until March 2022, Centogene will continue to provide access to genetic testing to patients worldwide. The original agreement, between Centogene and Shire Pharmaceuticals, now a subsidiary of Takeda Pharmaceutical, was signed in 2015. 

During the conference call, Oswald also pointed out Centogene's partnership with Denali Therapeutics to study genetic factors of Parkinson's disease and to identify new drug targets — a project that started in 2018 and involves more than 10,000 participants. He said the firms just signed an extension to include an additional 2,500 patients.

Centogene also added 100,000 patients to its rare disease database and biobank in 2020, he noted, an increase of 20 percent to about 600,000.

The company's net loss for 2020 was €21.4 million, or €1.02 per share, compared to a net loss of €20.8 million, or €1.27 per share, in 2019. Analysts, on average, had expected a net loss of $1.56 (€1.30) per share.

The firm's R&D expenses in 2020 totaled €14.9 million, up 55 percent from €9.6 million in 2019, while SG&A expenses grew to €45.2 million, up 40 percent from €32.4 million the previous year. Its SG&A expenses primarily grew because the company is now publicly traded.

Centogene ended the year with €48.2 million in cash and cash equivalents.

In 2021, the firm expects its core diagnostic and pharma business segments to return to "solid growth," according to CFO Richard Stoffelen. While its COVID-19 testing business is somewhat unpredictable, he said Centogene currently expects COVID-19 testing revenues to be approximately the same in 2021 as in 2020. The firm will reveal more details about its business plans during a virtual investor event on June 22.

In morning trading on the Nasdaq, Centogene shares were up about 2 percent at $12.40.

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