Near $19m annual net loss for Pacific Edge

Dunedin cancer diagnostic company Pacific Edge has reported an after-tax net loss of $18.9million for the year ended March 31.

That followed the previous year’s $17.9million loss. Operating expenses were up 5% on the previous year to $24.1million, which was primarily due to the foreign exchange impact of a weaker NZD compared to USD, the company said in an update to markets.

The board and management continued to carefully manage resources and achieving a cashflow break-even position remained a priority, it said.

Highlights for the period included the publication of three additional peer reviewed papers in support of its Cx bladder cancer diagnostic tests; inclusion in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines in the US; increased adoption and commercial use by DHBs in New Zealand, and growing recognition and adoption by urologists in the US and New Zealand.

Total laboratory throughput increased 7% to 16,861 tests and 81% of those tests were commercial tests.

Operating revenue from test sales was $4.4million, up 14% on the previous comparative period, and cash receipts from customers were up 19% year on year. US operating revenue increased 15% on pcp and accounted for 86% of group operating revenue in FY20.

The US remained the company’s largest market, providing 79% of total laboratory throughput during the year.

While the New Zealand market was small relative to the US, New Zealand’s public healthcare providers continued to lead the global adoption of Cxbladder.

Continuing progress was being made in southeast Asia and clinical trials in Singapore were nearing completion.

The published results from those would form the basis for a proposed Singapore-wide commercial rollout.

In Australia, Pacific Edge was replicating its New Zealand-proven sales and marketing model to drive sales growth.

The company remained focused on achieving its key strategic objectives and commercial momentum was increasing.

Operating cashflow was expected to improve further, while operating expenses would be maintained at current levels or lower.

Pacific Edge continued to operate as an essential business during the Covid-19 restrictions in both New Zealand and the US.

While fourth-quarter laboratory throughput remained strong, the negative impact from the stay-at-home restrictions was felt in the first half of April 2020, as urologists balanced the conflicting demands of Covid-19 restrictions and managing at-risk patients.

The pandemic had highlighted the need for novel ways to detect cancer early and guide treatment. Following the rapid increased use of telehealth in the US during this time, Pacific Edge expected tele-consultations to become more common.


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