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HTG Molecular Diagnostics' FY 2019 Revenues Drop 11 Percent

NEW YORK – HTG Molecular Diagnostics reported after the close of the market on Wednesday an 11 percent year-over-year drop in its full-year revenues, driven by a significant decrease in collaboration revenue.

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2019, the Tucson, Arizona-based firm's revenues fell to $19.2 from $21.5 million in 2018, matching the Wall Street consensus estimate.

Revenues from product and product-related services rose 60 percent to $14.6 million from $9.1 million a year ago, while revenues from collaborative development dropped 62 percent to $4.6 million from $12.4 million.

"While our collaborative development services revenue reflects the reduced activity of our partners as they approached key decision points in 2019, we are no less optimistic about that business and the opportunities that will be available to HTG in this space in the longer term," Lubniewski said in a statement. "Our molecular diagnostic development effort … is making tremendous progress, and we believe that the advancements being made there have the potential to transform cancer care."

Following the decision to end a collaborative agreement with Qiagen last fall, Lubniewski said in February that HTG aims to leverage existing partnerships with other firms to continue building in vitro diagnostic assays on their sequencers.

The firm's 2019 net loss rose to $19.3 million, or $.51 per share, from $16.5 million, or $.60 per share, a year ago, beating the Wall Street estimate for a loss per share of $.55.  

The firm's R&D spending during 2019 fell nearly 16 percent to $10.6 million from $12.6 million, and SG&A expenses dropped about 7 percent to $18.7 million from $20.0 million the year before.

At the end of 2019, HTG had cash and cash equivalents totaling $7.6 million and short-term investments of $25.4 million.

On a conference call with analysts and investors following the release of the earnings, Lubniewski further detailed HTG's plans to ramp up commercialization efforts for its next-generation EdgeSeq technology and goals to leverage it in all three of the firm's growth verticals.

HTG plans to offer the technology as a RNASeq surrogate to help drive growth in the firm's RUO-profiling business, a universal RNA companion diagnostic platform for its biopharma collaborations, and a core RNA platform technology for its breast cancer comprehensive profiling product.

"We also expect the whole transcriptome product to serve as a platform technology to be made available as an OEM to CLIA labs and other test developers," Lubniewski added. "The whole transcriptome product, which brings the benefit of small sample requirement, easier workflow, simplified bioinformatics, and transcriptome-level multiplexing, will enable HTG to fully compete in the the entire $800 million plus RNASeq market." 

HTG aims to identify all biomarkers and gene sequences for the technology by the end of Q1 and have the assay configuration established by the end of Q2. The firm then aims to publish a technical feasibility report demonstrating the product's concordance to RNASeq in Q3, followed by an agreement with its first collaboration partner and launch of an early adoption program by the end of 2020.   

In Nov. 2019, the firm released its HTG EdgeSeq Reveal data analysis software version 2.0, which allows rapid data analysis from its EdgeSeq Autoimmune Panel.

Earlier that month, HTG filed for a $20 million stock offering, in addition to signing a sales agreement with Cantor Fitzgerald for the possible sale of the shares.

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