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Pacific Edge widens annual loss as it chases US growth

Pacific Edge widens annual loss as it chases US growth

By Sophie Boot

May 26 (BusinessDesk) - Pacific Edge, the cancer diagnostics company, widened its annual loss as it invests to grow in the United States.

The net loss for the year ended March 31 was $15.5 million, from $12.3 million a year earlier, the Dunedin-based company said in a statement. This loss was as planned, the company said, with operating expenses increasing to $22.9 million from $16.6 million in 2015 as it invests in product development, market expansion and protecting its intellectual property with a focus on US growth.

Revenue rose 74 percent to $7.1 million, including $1.3 million in grants. The majority of that revenue was generated in the US and was impacted by the exchange rate between the New Zealand dollar and the US dollar, it said.

Pacific Edge is chasing US sales to tap the world's largest healthcare market where there are more than 10,000 urologists, and has signed up a series of health provider networks. Last year it was forced to compensate shareholders after it was found to have probably breached continuous disclosure rules when announcing new US contracts in 2013.

The shares jumped in late February after it announced it had signed a Federal supply schedule agreement with the US Veterans Administration, meaning 8.8 million veterans enrolled in the system could access Pacific Edge's Cxbladder test. The deal will also see the test available at 150 Department of Defense facilities across the US. The company's stock last traded at 64 cents, and has gained 21.2 percent this year.

"Our commercial journey is still in its infancy and we are firmly focused on growth and gaining traction in the US and our other targeted markets," chief executive David Darling said. "The opportunity for our Cxbladder technology is significant and we anticipate another year of growing returns as we work towards our goal of providing a ‘one stop shop’ of high-performance Cxbladder products for urologists."

The company is building traction in Australia through its relationship with pharmaceutical company Tolmar, Darling said, and it is in discussions with health providers in Singapore. Its US sales force now has 18 sales executives.

The board didn't declare a dividend.


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