Trovagene pledges results, in part, from cancer urine test launch

Trovagene ($TROV) continued to lose money in its fiscal 2013 third quarter. But the San Diego molecular diagnostics company insists it is poised to start generating revenue and results through new licensing, R&D partnerships and the launch of a precedent-setting urine-based cancer mutation-monitoring test.

For the quarter, Trovagene booked a $4.4 million loss, up from a $660,000 loss during the 2012 third quarter. Revenue hit just $44,000, a nosedive from $211,000 over the same period the previous year, most of which came from royalties, GenomeWeb reported.

Executives blamed the results on higher R&D costs and a general boost in administrative and operating expenses as the company geared up for the Oct. 1 rollout of what it billed as the first urine test for cancer mutation monitoring. Handled through Trovagene's CLIA-certified laboratory, it is used to detect the BRAF V600E mutation from cell-free DNA in urine, a mutation typical to melanoma and a number of other cancers.

That launch is significant to the company's advancement, CEO Antonius Schuh said in a statement. He added that Trovagene, long a development-stage diagnostics company, took important steps during the quarter that helped set it up for future growth down the line.

"We have signed multiple collaboration agreements and launched our first oncogene mutation detection test," Schuh said, also noting that the company made waves with positive clinical trial results showing that its diagnostics technology can detect and monitor rare cancer gene mutation signals in urine with high rates of sensitivity. Separately, Trovagene is developing assays to identify KRAS, PIK3CA and other deadly gene mutations.

"Trovagene is well positioned to leverage its investment in its intellectual property, scientific research and collaborations," Schuh noted.

Among those collaborations and milestones this year: Trovagene licensed RainDance Technologies' digital PCR system for use in a cancer diagnostic under development, plus it secured a patent involving technology that detects cell free miRNA in urine and blood. Trovagene said it has also inked a collaboration deal "with an undisclosed pharmaceutical company" to study oncogene detection and monitoring in lung cancer.

As of Sept. 30, Trovagene reported about $28 million in cash and equivalents on hand, versus $11 million at the end of 2012. Included in the total: $15 million from a direct stock offering of more than 2.1 million shares to an undisclosed institutional investor that the company raised in July 2013.

- read the release
- here's GenomeWeb's take (reg. req.)

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