Foundation Medicine's Dx revenue grows rapidly in Q3

Cancer diagnostics darling Foundation Medicine ($FMI) released its first quarterly numbers as a public company, and they show encouraging revenue gains as the Massachusetts outfit pursued a rapid sales expansion for its debut product.

Revenue for the 2013 third quarter hit $8.2 million, up substantially from $3 million in revenue during the same period a year ago. Net losses hit more than $12.4 million, up from a more than $5.5 million loss over the 2012 third quarter. Foundation Medicine's expansion and commercial rollout increased losses, with substantially higher costs for research and development, marketing and day-to-day operations as a growing company.

Foundation Medicine's stock closed at $28.06 on Nov. 7, down nearly 6% but still higher than the $18 price hit during a Sept. 24 IPO.

The Cambridge company's FoundationOne diagnostic is what all the fuss is about, and it helped propel a public offering that raised $111 million in net proceeds, including the full exercise of the underwriters' overallotment. FoundationOne is a sequencing-based assay that pores over 236 cancer-related genes to match patients with ideal treatments. So far, Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ), Novartis ($NVS) and Sanofi ($SNY) are signed on as biopharma collaborators. And its use is growing rapidly. Foundation Medicine said oncologists ordered 2,577 FoundationOne tests during Q3, up from just 1,626 in the 2013 second quarter.

Clinical testing generated over 50% of Foundation Medicine's third-quarter revenue, the company said, noting that it is also continuing to improve average turnaround time for FoundationOne. A test now takes approximately 2 weeks, versus the 21-day timeframe typical at the beginning of 2013. Test success rates remain higher than 95%, execs added.

"We are very encouraged by the commercial traction as the utility of FoundationOne and the information it delivers garners growing recognition among oncologists, pathologists and pharmaceutical companies," Michael Pellini, Foundation Medicine's president and CEO, said in a statement. "In addition, the number of scientific publications generated using our molecular information platform during the quarter continues to underscore its clinical utility and value in the care of patients with cancer."

Foundation Medicine, a member of 2012's FierceBiotech Fierce 15, was the first of several diagnostics companies that have ramped up or moved ahead with IPOs this fall, including Veracyte ($VCYT), a 2013 FierceMedicalDevices Fierce 15 winner; CardioDx, a 2012 Fierce Medical Devices Fierce 15 winner; Oxford Immunotec Global and Biocept Laboratories.

- read the release