Biotech annual loss widens, beats target

MARTA STEEMAN
Last updated 05:00 15/08/2013

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Dunedin biotech Pacific Edge, which is rolling out a bladder cancer detection test, has posted a loss of $6.95 million for the year ended March, 70 per cent higher than the previous year's loss of $4.08m.

The company said significant resources had been spent during the year on infrastructure and people to achieve regulatory approval and to begin the roll out of its bladder cancer test product called Cxbladder in the United States.

The company had completed a new purpose-built laboratory in Pennsylvania and appointed executives and sales staff to begin the sales effort with medical practitioners in the US.

That company's loss was a bit smaller than what it budgeted for - $7.15m - it said today.

The company said it wrote off all research and development spending until the product or projects had reasonable certainty of cost recovery. The Cxbladder test was now commercially available and any further spending on the product was expected to be capitalised.

Management still expected that Pacific Edge would reach its 200,000 tests a year target by the end of the fifth year of trading.

Its US subsidiary Pacific Edge Diagnostics USA was targeting large urology group practices and managed healthcare organisations. So far Cxbladder test sales in the US had made a minimal impact on Pacific Edge's revenues.

Building market awareness of the process was a substantial process and the company would continue that aggressively in the coming financial year.

Revenue from the US was expected to develop over the present financial year as the sales team built relationships with clinicians.

In New Zealand and Australia, urologists and general practitioners were showing a keen interest in the test with a good number taking part in a ''user programme''. The test was expected to be used as an adjunct to cystoscopy.

Sales this year had been ''steady but small in number'' and were expected to increase steadily off the back of the user programme.

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- The Press

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