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Rosetta Genomics Reports Rise in Q1 Revenues and Loss; Suspends Guidance

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Rosetta Genomics today reported a slight rise in its first-quarter revenues and a 6 percent increase in its net loss year over year.

The microRNA-based diagnostics firm reported total revenues of $27,000 for the three-month period ended March 31, compared to $17,000 for the first quarter of 2009.

Rosetta's net loss for the quarter was $3.6 million, or $.22 per share, compared to $3.4 million, or $.30 per share, for Q1 2009.

Its R&D spending declined slightly to $1.6 million from $1.7 million, while its SG&A spending jumped to $1.9 million from $1.6 million. The Israel-based firm, which has its US base in Philadelphia, launched its first three tests late in 2009 — the miRview mets, miRview meso, and miRview squamous tests.

Kenneth Berlin, Rosetta Genomics' president and CEO, said in a statement that the firm "made significant progress on a number of fronts important to building a sustainable business." Among those, he cited the addition of several US patents, clinical studies of its technologies published in peer-reviewed journals, CAP accreditation for its CLIA lab, and a registered direct offering that brought in nearly $5 million.

However, the firm said that it had suspended its earlier 2010 revenue guidance, due to a dispute with its US licensee, Prometheus Laboratories, which recently initiated an arbitration process to reconcile some differences of opinion on several matters related to the licensing pact. Prometheus had licensed rights to the mirView tests in April 2009, and took an equity stake in Rosetta.

"We are working to negotiate a resolution regarding Prometheus' request for deviations to the agreed upon development program provided for in the license agreement and responsibility for funding the development costs related to the development plan, as well as the level and extent of Prometheus' promotion of the diagnostic products in the US," Berlin said. "We hope to resolve these issues through negotiation but may have to resolve them through the arbitration process."

Rosetta Genomics finished the quarter with $11.1 million in cash and cash equivalents, short-term bank deposit and marketable securities.