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Quanterix Posts Large Drop in Reagent Sales as Restructuring Effort Tackles Quality Control


NEW YORK – Several months into the restructuring program it announced this summer, Quanterix has made progress in addressing its quality control issues, the company's president and CEO Masoud Toloue said during a Tuesday conference call following the release of the firm's Q3 2022 results.

As Toloue noted, the company has struggled to maintain consistent assay quality as it has scaled up sales of reagents for its high-sensitivity immunoassay platform. He said that during Q3, Quanterix has been "heavily focused on evaluation of reagent components to streamline across assays for improved manufacturability and reduction in variability."

"This will help with the lot-to-lot performance issues we were experiencing," he said.

Quanterix has seen slowed reagent sales as it has been undergoing this evaluation and restructuring process. During Q3, consumables revenue was down 30 percent year over year, driving an overall Q3 revenue decline of 4 percent.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, the Billerica, Massachusetts-based company posted revenues of $26.6 million, down from $27.7 million in Q3 2021 but beating the consensus Wall Street estimate of $24.0 million.

Q3 product revenues fell 14 percent to $17.7 million from $20.7 million in Q3 2021. Service and other revenues rose 42 percent to $8.4 million from $5.9 million in the prior-year period. Collaboration and license revenue more than doubled to $301,000 from $120,000 in Q3 2021, while grant revenue was $282,000, down 72 percent from $1.0 million the year before.

The pullback in reagent sales is impacting some customers' access to the company's assays, Toloue said, noting that in some cases "things aren't getting to their hands as fast as we might expect."

He said that Quanterix has worked to meet demand by moving some clients, particularly its large pharma partners, to its in-house Accelerator Laboratory.

"When we say volume management, it's partly some orders are being delayed and some orders are going to Accelerator," he said. "We've been doing triage."

Toloue acknowledged that these delays could lead some customers to explore other options, but said that Quanterix offered a level of sensitivity largely unmatched by other technologies, which would make it difficult for researchers needing that level of performance to find substitutes.

New single-molecule technologies coming to market could erode Quanterix's advantage in this regard, however. Most of these platforms remain at least several years away from commercial availability, though one — Quantum-Si — plans to begin shipping its single-molecule protein analysis system in Q1 2023.

Quanterix posted a Q3 net loss of $35.1 million compared to a net loss of $15.7 million a year ago. It posted a loss per share of $.95, above the consensus Wall Street estimate of $.50.

The company's R&D spending during the quarter was $6.6 million, down 3 percent from $6.8 million in Q3 2021. Its SG&A expenses were down 16 percent to $20.0 million from $23.7 million a year ago.

In addition to addressing reagent quality control, Quanterix also laid off roughly a quarter of its workforce as part of its restructuring plan.

The firm ended the quarter with $343.7 million in cash and cash equivalents and $2.6 million in restricted cash. During the earnings call, CFO Michael Doyle said that during Q3, the company incurred charges for severance due to these layoffs totaling $3.4 million.

Doyle also said that the company will not be using a recently leased facility in Bedford, Massachusetts. When detailing Quanterix's restructuring plan in August, Doyle had said it was considering terminating the lease on this facility or subleasing some or all of the space in order to cut operating expenses.

Doyle said Quanterix was maintaining its Q4 2022 revenue guidance of between $24 million and $26 million and its full-year 2022 guidance of between $104 million and $106 million.

In Wednesday morning trading on the Nasdaq, Quanterix shares were up 4 percent to $9.69.