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Vermillion Q1 Revenues Increase Sharply

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Vermillion reported after the close of the market on Monday a more-than-threefold increase in its first quarter revenues. 

For the three months ended March 31, the Austin, Texas-based bioanalytical solutions firm said that total revenues rose to $951,000 from $305,000 in the year-ago quarter. 

The firm notched $635,000 in product revenues, up from $191,000 in Q1 2014, and $316,000 in license revenues, up from $114,000 a year ago. 

Product revenue for the recently completed quarter was derived from 3,783 OVA1 tests performed, down slightly from 3,817 OVA1 tests performed in Q1 2014, the firm said. The Q1 2015 number includes 216 tests performed at Aspira Labs, a clinical reference laboratory and wholly owned subsidiary of Vermillion.

Product revenues for Q1 2015 also included a one-time recognition of $163,000 in deferred revenues from Quest Diagnostics, representing the final deferred royalty recognition under an old agreement between the two firms, Eric Schoen, Vermillion's chief accounting officer, said on a conference call following the release of the firm's financial results. In March Vermillion and Quest reached a new deal through which Vermillion now recognizes all product revenue at the time that Quest performs an OVA1 test, rather than deferring some revenue, as in prior periods. 

Vermillion is transitioning its OVA1 business from Quest to Aspira, a process which will begin in June, and on the call Vermillion President and CEO Valerie Palmieri said that her company and Quest are actively working to transition OVA1 testing in 49 states, or 10 more than Vermillion estimated on its fourth quarter earnings conference call. 

The only state where transition work has not yet begun is New York, though Palmieri said that an inspection by state regulators is scheduled for June. 

During the first quarter, Vermillion received a positive coverage decision by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan for OVA1. The payor is the largest insurer in that state, Vermillion VP of Sales and Customer Experience Laura Miller said on the call, adding that the company has as a goal attaining positive coverage decision by a national payor by the end of the year. 

At the end of March, Vermillion said that it submitted a 510(k) application to the US Food and Drug Administration for clearance of its second-generation ovarian cancer test OVA2. Vermillion CSO Donald Munroe said that the submission is now under review by FDA. Vermillion expects to have discussions with the agency during the summer and the company continues to anticipate a launch of OVA2 in Q3 2015. 

"We're very pleased with the performance achieved in verification and validation of OVA2," he said. 

For Q1 2015 Vermillion had a net loss of $4.1 million, or $.10 per share, compared to a net loss of $4.0 million, or $.11 per share, in Q1 2014. 

Its R&D expenses narrowed 8 percent year over year to $1.1 million from $1.2 million, while its SG&A spending rose 16 percent to $3.6 million from $3.1 million. 

The company finished the quarter with $17.2 million in cash and cash equivalents. 

Palmieri also told GenomeWeb recently that subsidiary Aspira Labs is in the process of building two new laboratory-developed tests for the early detection of ovarian cancer. 

"The first quarter marked a number of significant accomplishments and we are on track and, in some cases, ahead of our 2015 milestone plan," Palmieri said in a statement.