NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Sequenom reported after the close of the market Thursday that its third-quarter revenues increased 16 percent year over year, with strong growth for its diagnostics services business.
The San Diego-based maker of molecular diagnostics and genetic analysis products had total revenues of $13.6 million for the three months ended Sept. 30, compared to $11.7 million for the third quarter of 2010. It fell short of analysts' consensus estimate of $13.9 million.
Sales of genetic analysis products and services were $11.4 million, up from $11 million, and diagnostic services revenue jumped to $2.2 million from $687,000.
Sequenom's net loss dropped to $18.4 million, or $.19 per share, from $22.7 million, or $.30 per share, primarily due to a $7 million charge in the year-ago period for a legal settlement.
Its R&D expenses increased nearly 12 percent to $12.6 million from $11.3 million, while its SG&A spending climbed 12 percent to $13.7 million from $12.2 million. Sequenom said that the increase in R&D expenses was due to expansion of its Sequenom Center for Molecular Medicine lab and prelaunch activities for its MaterniT21 test.
The firm launched the highly-anticipated MaterniT21 laboratory-developed test last month. It detects genetic chromosomal anomaly called Trisomy 21 and is indicated for use in pregnant women at high risk for carrying a fetus with Down syndrome.
Sequenom has begun marketing the test to physicians in 20 major metropolitan regions across the US.
"As planned, the sales effort includes the initiation of physician educational seminars in each targeted launch market and the provision of in-service training to physician offices in select markets to explain the utility of the MaterniT21 test and to answer questions about the test and its use in practice," Sequenom Chairman and CEO Harry Hixson said on a conference call following the release of the results.
Company officials said on the call that the firm also has filed an application with New York State authorities to offer the MaterniT21 test to the state's residents. They believe New York state officials will want to inspect their facilities before granting approval.
Sequenom also has plans to file for US Food and Drug Administration clearance of the T21 test with a target of late 2012 or early 2013. Hixson said on the call that the firm has been in discussions with the agency regarding the protocols that would be required for clinical studies on the test. He added that the recently published study in Genetics In Medicine would not satisfy the FDA's requirements, and that the firm plans to focus the study on high-risk cases.
Sequenom finished the quarter with $101.2 million in cash, cash equivalents, and investment securities.
Shares of Sequenom climbed 5 percent in early Friday trade on the Nasdaq to $4.63.