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OncoCyte Posts Higher Q4 Net Loss

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Liquid biopsy test developer OncoCyte on Monday reported a 13 percent increase in its fourth quarter net loss as higher personnel-related spending pushed up overall costs.

For the three-month period ended December 31, OncoCyte's net loss rose to $4.5 million, or $.11 per share, versus $4.0 million, or $.13 per share, in the same period the year before.

The Alameda, California-based company did not generate any revenue in 2018.

OncoCyte's Q4 R&D costs dropped 20 percent to $1.2 million from $1.5 million year over year as the firm cut spending on all of its initiatives outside of lung cancer in order to focus on its DetermaVu test, which algorithmically analyzes a panel of gene expression biomarkers linked to the body's immune response to cancer to determine whether a lung nodule is malignant. After generating positive data in internal validation studies, the company expects to launch the test in the second half of the year.

Its SG&A expenses in Q4, meanwhile, rose nearly 17 percent to $2.8 million from $2.4 million amid higher personnel and related compensation, mainly related to the hiring of OncoCyte's CFO and COO.

"OncoCyte has made outstanding progress since our last quarterly update to investors, reporting positive results from our DetermaVu R&D validation study, which demonstrated that DetermaVu is a commercially viable assay with the potential to change the treatment paradigm in lung cancer diagnostics," OncoCyte President and CEO William Annett said in a statement. He added that the firm is investigating the technology across multiple solid tumors and "remain[s] highly focused on executing the few remaining steps required for commercialization of DetermaVu later this year."

For full-year 2018, OncoCyte's net loss fell 19 percent to $15.8 million, or $.42 per share, from $19.4 million, or $.64 per share, in 2017.

Its R&D costs for the year declined almost 10 percent to $6.5 million from $7.2 million, and SG&A expenses were down almost 26 percent to $8.7 million from $11.7 million, primarily due to a $4.1 million noncash expense in 2017 that was not incurred in 2018.

At the end of 2018, OncoCyte had cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities totaling $8.4 million. In February, the company raised $37.4 million through a public offering.

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