NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Enzo Biochem announced after the close of the market on Monday that revenues during its fiscal first quarter rose a fraction of 1 percent and that it is developing two molecular diagnostic platforms as part of a strategy to move to "higher value products and systems directed at the non-academic market segment."
For the three months ended Oct. 31, the New York-based firm reported that revenues rose less than a half percent to $25.8 million from $25.7 million during the comparable year-ago period. Clinical laboratory services increased to $14.2 million from $12.4 million, but the gain was offset by product revenues that slid to $9.7 million from $10.2 million, and royalty and licensing fees that dropped to $1.9 million from $3.1 million.
In its quarterly earnings statement, Enzo said that R&D expenses fell 11 percent year over year to $1.6 million, while SG&A expenses rose 13 percent to $12.4 million.
The firm's net loss for the quarter increased to $4.5 million, or $.12 per share, from a net loss of $1.1 million, or $.03 per share, a year ago.
Enzo ended the quarter with $21.4 million in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments.
In a statement, Enzo President Barry Weiner noted the softness in the academic market for life sciences as well as "general tightness in the global economy." As healthcare moves toward predictive and personalized diagnostics, where opportunities are "substantial" for Enzo, "We remain highly prioritized on increasing volume from our existing businesses, expanding market penetration and market reach, and improving operating efficiencies to enhance current results."
He added, "We continue to focus on our many resources to make certain Enzo participates substantially in the growth of molecular diagnostics."
With that in mind, the company said it is developing two new molecular diagnostic platforms, which could have "long-term revenue potential."
One is the Ampi-Probe system, which provides real-time PCR-type amplification and detection in a "better, faster, and more economical way."
The platform has interchangeable components formatted for open laboratory systems, and results generated so far have demonstrated "100 percent concordance with other systems." It also has provided sensitivity and service-level improvements over PCR, Enzo said. The system, it added, requires less patient samples, has lower reagent costs, and can run multiple tests on the same sample.
Enzo also is developing applications for its next-generation branched DNA platform that allows for the visualization of small amounts of virus DNA that have been integrated into a patient's cell. The instrument also can be used to develop more sensitive tests to identify certain types of cancer.
The goal of the two systems is to use them to develop products for clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration as assays, as CE-IVD marked products in Europe, and/or GMP-manufactured reagents that laboratories can validate internally and offer as laboratory-developed tests, Weiner said.