NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Transgenomic announced after the close of the market today a nearly 24 percent drop in sales for 2015, reflecting the loss of revenues from a number of business units the company has divested in order to focus on its ICE-COLD PCR molecular diagnostic offerings.
"Strategically, we have been focused this year on making Transgenomic the leading liquid biopsy company," Transgenomic President and CEO Paul Kinnon said during a conference call following the release of the financial results. Doing so "required the discipline to divest the legacy businesses that provide most of our revenues in the past … [but were] inherently money-losing propositions for Transgenomic with limited growth potential."
Since acquiring the ICE-COLD PCR technology from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Transgenomic has divested assets including its Surveyor Nuclease technology in 2014, its ion chromatography business in September, and its Genetic Assays and Platforms unit in December. And late last month, the company halted operations at its New Haven, Connecticut-based patient testing laboratory
With the divestiture process now largely complete, "we are now able to turn our full attention to commercializing ICE-COLD PCR," Kinnon added.
For the 12-month period ended Dec. 31, Transgenomic's sales fell to $20.6 million from $27 million. Sales from continuing operations rose 33 percent, to $1.7 million from $1.2 million, due to higher sales from ICE-COLD PCR-based pharmaceutical services, kits, CLIA testing, and licensing fees.
Kinnon noted that licensing fees generated the least revenues during the year, but that he expects them to become the company's biggest revenue driver, along with ICE-COLD PCR-related royalties, as CLIA labs and large academic centers that perform molecular testing in-house begin to adopt the technology. Transgenomic inked its first such deal in September, licensing the ICE-COLD PCR technology to the University of Melbourne for certain research and clinical applications.
The company's net loss for the year more than doubled, climbing to $34.3 million, or $2.78 per share, from $15.1 million, or $2.01 per share, the year before. Transgenomic's loss from continuing operations was $10.1 million, or $.93 a share, versus $10.8 million, or $1.59 a share, in 2014.
Research and development spending in 2015 fell to $1.9 million from $2.2 million, while SG&A spending dipped slightly to $7.1 million from $7.4 million, in part due to lower stock-based compensation costs.
Transgenomic finished 2015 with $444,000 in cash and cash equivalents. During the first quarter of this year, the company closed a $2.2 million private placement.
During early morning trading on the Nasdaq Friday, shares of Transgenomic were down a little more than 1 percent to $.63.