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Biocartis Issues Q3 Update, Raises €32.7M, Inks US Distribution Deal

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Belgian molecular diagnostics firm Biocartis Group issued an update on its business during the third quarter of fiscal year 2016, and announced €32.7 million ($34.7 million) in private financing and a US distribution deal with Thermo Fisher Scientific for its Idylla diagnostics platform and assays.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, the firm said it grew the installed base of its real-time PCR-based Idylla platform and that cartridge consumption during the quarter was greater than total consumption during the first six months of the year. It has also expanded its global reach with distribution deals in Southeast Asia.

Biocartis ended the quarter with approximately €67 million in cash and issued guidance for an installed base of 340 Idylla instruments by year's end. The firm also noted it took on €55 million of non-dilutive financing: a €40 million bank loan and a new subordinated loan of €15 million.

The company had previously reported that total revenues fell in the first half of 2016 while product sales jumped 63 percent.

Following the Q3 update, the firm also announced it has raised €32.7 million in a private placement. Biocartis issued approximately 4.1 million new shares at an issue price of €8.05 per share, increasing the number of shares outstanding by approximately 10 percent to 44.6 million. Shares of Biocartis closed at €8.25 on Nov. 16, prior to the offering.

The company said in a statement that it plans to use the funds for development, regulatory approval, and commercial launch of new tests for Idylla. It will also expand its sales and marketing team, fund expansion of its cartridge manufacturing capacity, and use the funds for general corporate purposes.

Degroof Petercam, KBC Securities, and Kempen & Co acted as joint bookrunners.

The placement adds to the firm's funding haul following the end of Q3: In October, it landed a €2.5 million grant from the Flemish Agency for Innovation & Entrepreneurship to expand its manufacturing capacity.

Separately, Biocartis also said it has signed a distribution agreement in which Thermo Fisher will have US distribution rights for the Idylla platform and assays. Biocartis retains the right to sell the technology via direct sales channels.

"Thermo Fisher Scientific is a great match for Biocartis, holding an impressive track-record in improving patient diagnostics and increasing laboratory productivity," Biocartis CEO Rudi Pauwels said in a statement. "I am confident that this partnership will not only strengthen our commercialization efforts in the US, but also support us in taking the next step in our ambition of having an impact on molecular diagnostic testing throughout the world."

The partners added that they would focus first on oncology products, starting commercial roll-out in mid-2017.

In afternoon trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, shares of Biocartis were up less than 1 percent at €8.15.

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