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Biocept posts first-ever quarterly profit and balloons 4Q revenue to $18.5M on strength of coronavirus testing

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Biocept Inc (NASDAQ:BIOC) swung to a profit in its fourth-quarter thanks to its coronavirus (COVID-19) testing driving revenue to $18.5 million.

For the period ended December 31, 2020, the San Diego-based firm posted a profit of $1.9 million, or $0.14 per diluted share on 13.6 million weighted-average shares outstanding, compared to a loss of $5.7 million, or $1.97 per share on 2.9 million weighted-average shares outstanding a year earlier.

Biocept’s 4Q revenue of $18.5 million was a sharp increase from the $1.8 million it delivered in the comparable year-ago quarter, thanks in large part to commercial test revenue of $17.6 million attributable to RT-PCR COVID-19 testing.

READ: Biocept strikes supply agreement with Aegea Biotechnologies for co-developed ultra-sensitive coronavirus detection test

The remainder of the firm’s sales included $32,000 in development services test revenue and $160,000 in revenue from distributed products, Target Selector RUO kits, CEE-Sure blood collection tubes and payments from Aegea Biotechnologies for services associated with the development of a COVID-19 assay.

Biocept CEO Michael Nall told shareholders that the three-month period to end December 31, 2020 was the firm’s first profitable quarter.

“Our ability to generate higher revenues in recent quarters due to COVID-19 testing significantly reduced our cash burn in 2020, while we continued to provide excellent service for our oncology and COVID-19 customers,” Nall said in a statement accompanying the results.

For the full fiscal 2020 year, the company reported revenue of $27.5 million compared to $5.5 million a year ago, almost entirely driven by commercial test revenue of $26.9 million. Its net loss narrowed to $17.8 million, or $1.50 per share, from $25.3 million or $12.23 per share on 2.1 million shares outstanding in 2019.

Focus on unique CSF assay

CEO Nall told investors that Biocept’s oncology focus going forward will be on its neuro-oncology strategy and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) assay, which uniquely addresses a high unmet clinical need by identifying metastatic progression of cancer to the central nervous system and brain.

Between 10% to 30% of patients diagnosed with cancer, depending on tumor type, will ultimately experience spread of their disease to the central nervous system, according to Nall. Pilot studies have shown Biocept’s CSF assay to be significantly more sensitive than conventional CSF cytology in detecting lung and breast cancer that has metastasized to the brain or central nervous system.

“Initial acceptance by neuro-oncology early-adopters has been highly encouraging as physicians from nearly two dozen leading academic institutions have ordered our assay with many becoming repeat users,” Nall added.

“Given the advantages of this offering, we have engaged a group of neuro-oncology thought-leaders from leading institutions to work with us in developing a strategy to establish our assay as the standard of care in diagnosing cancer with central nervous system involvement under National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines. Key among these actions is gathering clinical data in support of our testing.”

Biocept expects to start its Four C registry trial, which is designed to provide clinical validation of the performance of the firm’s assay against CSF cytology in predicting clinical outcomes in patients with suspected brain and central nervous system metastases, later this year.

Biocept ended 4Q with $14.4 million in cash and equivalents.

Contact Angela at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter @AHarmantas

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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