It’s a very rewarding trading day for investors in Biocept (NASDAQ:BIOC) with shares up over 50%, making the stock Wall Street’s bull of the day. Why the excitement? The cancer diagnostic test maker stunned investors today when it announced a provider agreement with Alliance Global to market and distribute Biocept’s Target Selector liquid biopsy tests in the United Arab Emirates and select countries in the Middle East, North & Sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia (MEAA) region.
All diagnostic testing services under this agreement will be performed in Biocept’s San Diego-based CLIA-certified laboratory with Alliance Global having responsibility for sales, marketing, distribution, and reimbursement of the Company’s liquid biopsy platform. Additional terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“We are pleased to partner with Alliance Global to offer patients diagnosed with cancer access to our patented liquid biopsy testing,” said Michael Nall, President and CEO of Biocept. “We now have eight international agreements enabling the distribution of our Target Selector™ tests in 17 countries in addition to the U.S. We are enthusiastic about the opportunities with a capable partner in this important region, and given our strong global intellectual property position, we will continue to be opportunistic in seeking to develop the market for our liquid biopsy solutions internationally.”
“Offering Biocept’s novel liquid biopsy tests supports our commitment to bringing innovative biomedical products and services to emerging markets, and this agreement reflects Alliance Global’s focus on the growing clinical genomics sector in the MEAA region,” said Dr. Nassim-Marie Hambouz, Group Director of commercial operations at Alliance Global. “A major focus will be to use Biocept’s testing services to support global biopharmaceutical companies in qualifying patients for their targeted therapies. We feel that Biocept’s Target Selector™ assays with industry-leading sensitivity are uniquely suited for this application,” added Dr. Hambouz.
WestPark Captial analyst Lauren Chung has recently downgraded Biocept shares from Outperform to Neutral given the limited funds to the balance sheet. (To watch Chung’s track record, click here)
Chung wrote, “While the company has made multiple strides in the last 4 quarters to lay the groundwork for test volume growth, we have yet to see a ramp in topline revenue. The company has adjusted their sales strategy, and the sales team continues to employ the AND campaign to educate physicians and raise awareness on the benefits of Biocept’s tests. The reps are further armed with data from recent publications of the clinical utility of their tests in peerreviewed journals. Empowering pathologists network is gaining traction and the company has taken actions necessary to prepare their CLIA lab for volume growth from this initiative. Global marketing and distribution agreement with VWR is expected to result in revenues starting in 2Q18.”
“We believe the sales will continue to grow over time. However, until we see an inflection in topline growth, or a strategic partnership, the challenge for Biocept remains if they can grow the revenues with current SG&A spending and limited capital,” the analyst concluded.