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WaferGen Reports Spike in Q1 Revenues from SmartChip Early-Access Sales

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This article was originally published on May 17.

WaferGen Biosystems today reported a rise in first-quarter revenues driven by sales related to its SmartChip real-time PCR system, currently being evaluated by early-access customers.

WaferGen also disclosed last week an accounting error in its full-year and fourth-quarter 2009 that caused the company to underreport its yearly net loss and overreport its accumulated year-end deficit.

The increase in Q1 revenues is a welcome reprieve for Fremont, Calif.-based WaferGen, which reported in an April filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that its 2009 full-year revenues dropped 39 percent to $380,000 from $622,000 in 2008; and its net loss swelled 26 percent to $10.1 million from $8 million in the prior year. As of Dec. 31, 2009, WaferGen's accumulated deficit was $30.3 million (PCR Insider, 4/29/10).

In that April SEC filing, WaferGen also said that its current funds would finance operations only through June of this year.

However, last week the company filed an 8-K with the SEC stating that its audited financial statements for full-year 2009 and unaudited quarterly statements for the fourth quarter of 2009 "should no longer be relied upon" because of an error related to mistakenly classifying certain warrants previously issued by WaferGen as a liability rather than stockholders' equity.

The resulting impact of the accounting error for full-year 2009 was an increase of about $564,000 in net loss, bringing WaferGen's 2009 net loss to almost $10.7 million; and a decrease in accumulated deficit of about $370,000. WaferGen also said in the filing that the error resulted in an increase in liabilities of about $2.8 million.

For the first quarter of 2010, WaferGen's revenues rose to $389,785 from $41,838 for the first quarter of 2009. The company said that about two-thirds of its revenues were related to the SmartChip early-access program it initiated during the quarter.

The revenue "is an indication of the recognition of the SmartChip system by leading university, university hospital, and biotechnology and pharmaceutical researchers in the US, Europe, and Japan," Alnoor Shivji, chairman and CEO of WaferGen, said in a statement. "Given our business model, we are pleased with this base on which to build our SmartChip business."

The firm has been planning to make the SmartChip system fully available in the second half of this year.

WaferGen's net loss jumped sharply to $4.6 million, or $.14 per share, from $1.8 million, or $.07 per share, for the fist quarter of 2009, as its expenses spiked.

The firm's R&D expenditures grew to $1.5 million from $959,888 year over year, while its SG&A spending rose to $1.3 million from $868,014.

WaferGen finished the quarter with $3.7 million in cash and cash equivalents.

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