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Recovery Under Way, Pressure BioSciences Q2 Revenues Up 125 Percent

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Continuing its way back from restructuring of its business at the end of 2008, Pressure BioSciences this week announced that revenues for the second quarter more than doubled to $270,381 from $120,184 in the year-ago period.

During the three months ended June 30, the company also installed 12 of its flagship Barocycler instruments, compared to seven during Q2 2008. Revenues from PBI's pressure cycling technology product and services accounted for $159,202, up from $117,698 in Q2 2008.

In November 2008, faced with an inability to raise funds in a frozen equity and credit market, PBI was forced to lay off eight full-time employees, or 40 percent of its staff. The firm also shut down one R&D facility and scrapped other R&D projects in a bid to cut expenses [See PM 12/04/08].

In a conference call accompanying the release of its earnings this week, PBI CEO Richard Schumacher said that "going into the year, we were a bit nervous. When you go into a year with a staff that's less than half of what you had last year, with limited funds, with far fewer services to support the company, you go in knowing that you want to do your best but not knowing if your best is going to be good enough."

The first quarter, however, saw the start of a modest turnaround when PBI reported a 132 percent increase in revenues to $306,762 from $132,376 and a smaller net loss of $224,246 compared to $1.34 million the year-ago period.

This week, the company also said that it is making progress toward its goal of reducing its cash-burn rate to about $600,000 per quarter. Operating loss for Q2 2009 was $815,333, down from $1.6 million a year ago. Excluding non-cash charges, cash burn for the quarter was approximately $663,000, said Joseph Damasio, PBI's corporate controller.

Schumacher also reported progress on the company's two SBIR grants. One grant is for the investigation of pathogens that live on the human body, and based on data generated so far, PBI plans to apply for a grant before the end of the year for a larger scale continuation of that research, he said.

He added that he is hopeful that a paper will be published before the end of the year for another SBIR grant supporting research into organelles inside a cell. If preliminary data holds up, "we believe they could lead to the development of an entirely new Barocycler system that could be highly valuable for hundreds of companies worldwide that are in the area of drug discovery."

In the remaining months of 2009, the company may release three products related to its PCT for sample preparation. Schumacher did not elaborate.

The firm also has been approached by "no less than four companies'" similar in size to PBI and providing products to proteomics and genomics researchers about sharing their sales and marketing resources, Schumacher said.

Those discussions continue as do talks with "several groups that are much larger than these three or four small companies, that have many, many more feet on the ground to see if a larger company might be interested in helping us market and distribute our products," he said. "We are not in a position where we think that with two sales people, a VP of sales, and an independent rep, that we're going to get to the Promised Land.

"We're not going to," Schumacher said.

Net loss for the quarter was $814,049, compared to $1.6 million a year ago, and PBI spent $315,046 on R&D, compared to $461,672 in Q2 2008. Sales, marketing, and general administration costs shrank to $679,848 from $11.6 million a year ago.

The company reported it had $1.49 million in cash and cash equivalents as of June 30.

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