TrovaGene's (TROV) CEO Antonius Schuh on Q2 2014 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Aug. 9.14 | About: TrovaGene, Inc. (TROV)

TrovaGene, Inc. (NASDAQ:TROV)

Q2 2014 Earnings Conference Call

August 07, 2014, 04:00 PM ET


Stephen Zaniboni - Chief Financial Officer

Antonius Schuh - Chief Executive Officer and Director

Mark Erlander - Chief Scientific Officer


Sung Ji Nam - Cantor

Bryan Brokmeier - Maxim Group


Good day, everyone, and welcome to the TrovaGene's second quarter 2014 financial results conference call. (Operator Instructions) At this time, I'd like to turn the conference call over to Mr. Stephen Zaniboni, Chief Financial Officer of TrovaGene. Sir, please go ahead.

Stephen Zaniboni

Thank you for joining us on our second quarter 2014 conference call. TrovaGene is focused on developing and commercializing our precision cancer monitoring technology which detects DNA mutations in the urine and blood with very high sensitivity.

Our technology provides oncologists with important clinical information that can guide treatment decisions by determining a patient's mutational status, response to therapy and resistance to treatment overtime. We continue to expand the body of clinical evidence supporting our cancer mutation monitoring platform through collaborations with major cancer treatment centers and integrated healthcare networks.

The benefits of our precision cancer monitoring technology are becoming apparent in terms of clinical utility and the impact on patient outcomes with data presented at the AACR Meeting and ASCO Meetings earlier this year. Our intellectual property estate protecting our technology is strong and is growing and includes methods of extracting, purifying, preparing and detecting cell-free DNA and RNA mutations in urine and blood.

Before moving on I must remind you of the risks inherent in our business and ask you to consider the following information regarding forward-looking statements. Statements in this call about the company's expectations, applications of its technology, markets, launch of tests, and other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and are based on management's current beliefs, assumptions, estimates and projections.

Actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements for various reasons, including risks associated with product and diagnostic test development, government regulation, market acceptance, limited commercial experience, dependence on key personnel, obtaining financing, and other factors discussed in the company's periodic reports filed with the SEC.

With that said, the format of this call will be as follows. First, our Chief Executive Officer, Tony Schuh, will review the company's recent achievements and discuss TrovaGene's potential to impact the standard of care for cancer treatment. Dr. Mark Erlander, our Chief Scientific Officer, will provide an update on our product pipeline and our clinical collaborations. And finally, I'll summarize our financial results and review our goals and objectives for this year. A question-and-answer session will follow the call.

I'll now turn the call over to Dr. Tony Schuh, TrovaGene's Chief Executive Officer.

Antonius Schuh

Thank you, Steve. Expanding the mutation coverage of our platform and developing additional clinical data, supporting the utility of our precision cancer monitoring technology remain high priorities for TrovaGene. In the first half of this year, we have made significant progress on these objectives and we are preparing for the commercial rollout of our cancer monitoring platform.

Before, I review our recent achievements, I would like to frame the market need for our technology, so our accomplishments can be put into proper context. Clinicians we speak with or work with as part of our clinical programs are highly motivated to use our technology. This is because we are enabling them for the first time to track driver mutations associated with a patient's cancer in an easy and entirely non-invasive manner, throughout the course of a patient's treatment.

Currently, physicians rely on imaging modalities such as MRIs, CT scans or PET scans to gauge response to therapy and disease progression. However, among other issues these imaging techniques do not offer any information about a too much mutational status.

In fact, feedback that we have received from oncologists and radiologists emphasize the need for our technology. According to these clinicians, when imaging reveals tumor growth or disease progression, the treatment regimen has likely been failing for several weeks or month already.

And the higher tumor burden associated with the cancer progression makes it more difficult to treat the patient going forward. In other words cancer monitoring with imaging in many cases is a lagging indicator that is unable to detect mutational changes and catch disease progression early.

The clinicians we are working with are confident that tracking cancer mutations over time in urine can determine tumor growth before disease progression actually appears on a patient scan. This early warning can alert a physician that treatment is failing and that other therapy options should be considered as soon as possible to improve patient response.

Early detection of disease progression can also help patients that are failing therapy to avoid exposure to unnecessary treatment and the related side effects, and can help reduce overall healthcare expenses by cutting ineffective treatment short. Additionally, in cases where tissue biopsies are limited or not possible, detecting cancer in a liquid biopsy is the best option available to obtain the genomic information needed to precisely treat the cancer.

Given the major unmet need to monitor cancer at the molecular level, we are focused on improving the standard of care for cancer treatment by demonstrating the utility of our cancer monitoring platform in multiple clinical studies. Results from these studies are critical to drive broad adoption in the oncology community and to obtained health insurance reimbursement at attractive level.

Because our technology enables physicians to administer the right treatment to the right patient at the right time, better treatment outcomes at improved cost levels are expected. We believe that improving patient outcomes and saving healthcare systems money are key drivers of TrovaGene's value proposition.

Given that background, the key milestones we achieved in the first half of this year, include expansion of our platform's oncogene coverage with our KRAS multiplex assay, which runs using next-generation sequencing technology. Data presentations demonstrating validity and clinical utility of our cancer monitoring platform at both the AACR Meeting in April and the ASCO Meeting in June.

The reference to our cancer monitoring platform in international clinical treatment guidelines for histiocytic diseases such as Erdheim-Chester disease and Langerhans cell histiocytosis, and so far this year we have announced clinical collaborations with four major cancer treatment centers and integrated healthcare networks, including U.S. Oncology, Catholic Health Initiatives, Northwestern University and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. These organizations compliment our ongoing collaborations with M.D. Anderson, Memorial Sloan-Kettering and the Norris Cancer Center at USC.

With eight of the world top cancer centers as our current collaborators and more than 30 clinical programs in progress, we look forward to presenting additional study results later this year, including the potential for two more manuscripts published in peer review journals. Given our robust clinical development programs, we expect that 2015 will be a year of significant clinical data presentations and publications that support the clinical utility of our precision cancer monitoring platform.

In addition to the advancement of our clinical programs, we recently strengthened our balance sheet, adding the second quarter with approximately $35 million in cash. Our strong financial position will enable us to begin executing on our sales and marketing strategy in the fourth quarter of this year, which we believe will drive adoption of our technology and put us on the path to generating meaningful revenue.

Generally, there are three key phases for company's developing diagnostic test that provide novel clinical utility, and we expect TrovaGene to follow the same path. The first phase is to validate that our technology actually can detect oncogene mutations in urine with high sensitivity in the clinical setting. We have achieved this milestone.

Next, clinical utility needs to be demonstrated. We have presented the results of our clinical study program at major medical conferences, such as AACR and ASCO, and expect to continue to do so as the results of additional clinical studies become available. And finally, we need to convert the clinical utility demonstrated in our studies in diagnostic revenues, which we will begin to do later this year with the rollout of our marketing and sales program.

I am proud of the accomplishments we have achieved so far and believe that TrovaGene's molecular diagnostic platform is positioned to lead the industry in cancer monitoring by tracking DNA mutations in a liquid biopsy. We remain focused on the execution of our business plan and are dedicated to helping oncologists improving cancer care.

With that, I'll turn the call over to Dr. Erlander.

Mark Erlander

Thanks, Tony. We continue to advance our developmental programs at TrovaGene in both the R&D lab and in our clinical studies. With regard to new assay development, we have made significant progress with our proprietary sample preparation and enrichment technologies, improving the limit of detection of our cancer monitoring platform and achieving industry-leading levels of analytical sensitivity.

We have improved our assay design as well, which we believe will result in superb clinical performance. We expect to expand the mutation coverage of our platform and transfer new assays into our CLIA lab later this year and throughout next year.

By the end of 2015, we expect that our precision cancer margin program will cover the most relevant actionable genomic alterations in all clinically validated oncogene, such as BRAF, KRAS, EGFR, ALK, PIK3CA, HER2, and NRAS. These well-validated genomic alterations consist of multiple mutations, insertions, deletions that when tracked accurately and quantitatively can provide critical information to oncologist to help direct therapy.

On the clinical development front as Tony has mentioned, we are now collaborating with eight top cancer centers and integrated healthcare networks and those programs are expected to yield steady results throughout 2015 in important treatment areas such as metastatic colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, melanoma, and finally lung cancer. Additionally, we expect to expand our list of internationally recognized collaborators in the near future.

In the second quarter we released three datasets at the AACR meeting and ASCO meeting demonstrating that our precision cancer monitoring technology was not only able to detect oncogene mutations in urine, but was also useful for quantifying and tracking oncogene mutation levels over time.

The first dataset announced at ASCO demonstrated that mutational load, observed with our assay technology, correlated to treatment response. This correlation was highly significant. Importantly, patients in this study had various types of advance cancers and were undergoing a variety of treatment regimens.

Clinical utility was demonstrated in this study for our technology as the result showed that reduced BRAF V600E mutation load over time correlated to a statistically significant increase in the patient's time to tumor progression.

With our cancer monitoring program or platform, oncologists are able to detect and monitor a patient's disease and treatment response in near real-time using a non-invasive sample from the patient.

Another study, which we presented at ASCO, demonstrated that our cancer monitoring platform provided significant clinical utility for the diagnosis and treatment of histiocytic diseases including Erdheim-Chester disease and Langerhans cell histiocytosis. These diseases can be associated with the BRAF V600E mutation and successfully obtain a conclusive biopsy in many affected patients is not always possible.

Physicians at Memorial Sloan-Kettering and M.D. Anderson demonstrated that our urinary cell-free DNA technology definitively detected BRAF V600E mutations in histiocytic patients particularly when biopsy could not. Importantly, properly determined the BRAF status of a patient with histiocytic disease can represent clinical or critical information with regard to treatment selection.

We believe that the clinical utility shown in this study is a model case for our platform and these results drove the recent referencing of our cancer monitoring technology in published guidelines for the treatment of histiocytic diseases. In addition to superior BRAF V600E detection in this difficult to biopsy patient population results were also presented, which demonstrated our technologies ability to monitor treatment response in histiocytic patients over time.

We continue to implement a clinical studies strategy based on our collaborations with key opinion leaders, integrated healthcare networks, and leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. With these collaborations, we seek to further demonstrate concordance of mutational status between our urine-based diagnostics and tissue biopsy, as well as responsiveness and resistance to therapy by monitoring cancer patients over time.

We expect to submit three manuscripts to peer-reviewed oncology and molecular diagnostic journals in the near-term with publications of these studies results potential later this year or in the first quarter 2015. In total we are tracking to submit eight manuscripts to medical journals over the next 12 months for our clinical programs.

We believe that this publications will demonstrate compelling clinical utility with our precision cancer monitoring platform and should helped drive awareness and uptake our oncogene mutation monitoring solutions as part of our marketing and sales program.

At TrovaGene we are developing our diagnostic platform to improve the standard of care for cancer patients by enabling physicians to track the underlying genomic drivers and disease. The current standard of care for monitoring patients relies on cancer imaging, which can be a lagging indicator and does not provides specific information regarding tumor mutational status.

The excitement of our collaborating physicians and their colleagues continues to be a strong indicator to me that we are creating something very important for patients and for the field of cancer therapy.

Thank you, for your attention. I will now turn the call over to Stephen Zaniboni to present the financial results for the recent period.

Stephen Zaniboni

Thanks Mark. TrovaGene's financial results for the second quarter are as follows. For the three months ended June 30, 2014 TrovaGene reported a net loss of $1.1 million or $0.06 per share as compared to a net loss of $5.3 million or $0.34 per share for the three months ended June 30, 2013.

Operating expenses were $3.3 million for 2014 second quarter as compared to $2.4 million for the same period in 2013. Operating costs include non-cash expenses related to stock-based compensation of approximately $419,000 and $347,000 in the respective periods.

Also impacting the net loss was a non-cash change in the fair value of the derivative instruments. For the three months ended June 30, 2014, this change resulted in a gain of $2.2 million as compared to a loss of $2.9 million for the same period in 2013. The net cash used in the second quarter of 2014 was $2.7 million.

TrovaGene's financial results for the first quarter of 2014 are as follows. For the six months ended June 30, 2014 TrovaGene reported a net loss of $4.3 million or $0.23 per share as compared to a net loss of $6.4 million or $0.41 per share for the six months ended June 30, 2013.

Operating expenses were $6.7 million for 2014's first half as compared to $4.9 million for the same period in 2013. Operating costs include non-cash expenses related to stock-based compensation of approximately $979,000 and $887,000 in the respective periods.

Also impacting the net loss was a non-cash change in the fair value of the derivative instruments. For the six months ended June 30, 2014, this change resulted in the gain of $2.2 million as compared to a loss of $1.6 million for the same period in 2013. The net cash used for the first half of 2014 was $5.6 million.

Shares of common stock outstanding used to calculate per share result increased to 18.9 million shares from 15.5 million shares on June 30, 2014. On June 30, 2014, TrovaGene had cash and cash equivalents of approximately $34.7 million compared to $25.8 million at December 31, 2013.

Our cash balance includes the $15 million debt financing that we completed at the end of the second quarter of 2014. We estimate that our current cash position will be sufficient to fund our operation well into 2016.

Turning to our goals for the remainder of 2014, we plan to conduct additional clinical studies at major oncology centers and through collaborations with integrated healthcare networks. Present and publish clinical results for studies using TrovaGene's precision cancer monitoring platform as they become available.

Complete CLIA development and release additional urine-based solutions for the detection and monitoring of multiple clinically actionable oncogene mutations in parallel. Enter into additional R&D collaborations with pharmaceutical companies and expand and enter into new partnerships with strategic diagnostic and life science companies.

In conclusion, TrovaGene is well-positioned to leverage its investment and its intellectual property, scientific research and collaborations to build a better clinical pathway for cancer monitoring. We believe that the upcoming data presentations at medical conferences and publications and peer review journals should begin to drive early adoption of our technology later this year.

This concludes our prepared remarks. Operator, we are now ready for the questions-and-answer session.

Question-and-Answer Session


(Operator Instructions) Our first question comes from Sung Ji Nam from Cantor.

Sung Ji Nam - Cantor

Toni, I was wondering, or Mark or anybody, was wondering if you guys could give us more color in terms of your go-to-market strategy later this year. Is it kind of more of what you have been doing in terms of developing partnerships and more clinical trials or are you trying to do something slightly different?

Antonius Schuh

I think it is clear that as you enter into a set of clinical studies to validate your technology in clinical institutions, these clinical institutions familiarize themselves with your technology, and they become aware of what you can do and how powerful this tool is. And then what you simply see and I would say, this is part of our commercial strategy, that then early adopters recognize that these assays that they are learning about in clinical studies are useful in other real patients settings that they are facing.

And so I think this combined momentum of individual clinical experience in a larger number of hospitals, plus published data that generates the momentum that we believe is sufficient to start in the fourth quarter of this year, a marketing rollout that initially targets early adopters, targets opinion-leading clinicians. And then through the year of 2015, we will inch-by-inch, if you want, so expand our reach to the clinical oncology community.

Sung Ji Nam - Cantor

And then, you guys have pretty compelling data with respect to histiocytic diseases and including guidelines that were published. I was wondering, are you starting to see traction or early demand for testing within that population? Or do you think this also requires additional sales and marketing effort on your part?

Antonius Schuh

So what I described in general terms is some thing that we already seeing for histiocytic disease. And histiocytic disease is thought essentially a model case for potentially BRAF positive malignancies with some times struggle or in many cases actually struggle to obtain biopsy material.

That's a situation that you see in many other cancers that are more frequent as well, like lung cancer, metastatic melanoma depending on where the metastases sit and so on. But it's a first defined clinical case that we see this momentum that I've described in general terms, they are happening already.

Sung Ji Nam - Cantor

And then one last one from me and I'll get back into queue. You guys saw the FDA notifying Congress with their intent to publish draft guidelines to potentially regulate LDPs. It seems like they are interested in at least regulating the high-risk type of testing. And was wondering kind of what your thoughts are on that? And what your strategy might be? How you guys are -- obviously, it's early, but as you kind of look at that, as that evolves, what your strategy might be in order to address that?

Antonius Schuh

So first of all, I do not think that anybody who is in this phase of molecular diagnostics that really offer novel clinical utilities. And everybody who is in the companion diagnostic space and the oncology space is really surprised by the release of these draft guidelines of the FDA. That that's a discussion that is going on for many, many years, and there have been several different attempts to regulate this. And so it should not come to anybody surprise, and it also doesn't come to surprise for us.

What we have done in setting up our company so far is simply that our CLIA lab is operating to what we believe the highest QSR standards, Quality Systems Regulations standards. We are actually using ISO guidelines, the ISO guidelines to set up our lab operations.

And then we validate our assays to very high standards. And we are conducting controlled clinical studies, blinded clinical studies. We are generating the type of evidence that the FDA has stated. They would like to see before assays are used with patients. So we feel actually calm and comfortable about this right now.

And because we believe that we are analytically performance leaders and that this analytical performance leadership position combined with our ability to look at any cell-free DNA regardless where it comes from, particularly urine samples, that these two features together will make us into a clinical performance leader.

And as such, we actually have an interest that there is regulation that's differentiates between better and worse. And so to quite a degree, we appreciate increased regulation there. Because, yes, if you're confident that you're doing a stuff well, you're confident that you can be successful within more sophisticated regulations.


Our next question comes from Bryan Brokmeier from Maxim Group.

Bryan Brokmeier - Maxim Group

You have eight collaborations and continue to pursue other opportunities with cancer centers, integrated health networks and biopharma companies. Is the medical community reading your publications and seeing you at conferences and hearing about you through some of their peers and reaching out to you to create new collaborations for you? Or are you sort of developing these relationships through pre-existing relationships and cultivating them into new potential collaborators after they become more comfortable and want to move forward with you?

Antonius Schuh

Let me answer this high-level, and I think then Mark can give more color to this. But there're two data points in this regard. First of all, I believe that we roughly for every clinical study that we commit to, we turn another three to four requests down.

Not because we don't have the lab capacity to do this, but every one of these studies requires pretty sophisticated clinical and scientific input. You can't just run a study for the sake of running a study; it has to be a meaningful objective. So the interest that the clinical community has in performing studies with us is frankly somewhat overwhelming.

And from the studies that we performed, there is another parameter that one should follow, and that is the number of samples that we process in our lab in these clinical evaluations. And we are now in early August 2014, so since July 2013, I believe we have processed around 1,500 samples already from clinical studies. And now you need to consider these are not samples from archived sample collections, where somebody opens up their fridge and sends us 100 vials or 100 slides.

Every single sample is collected under an IRB-approved controlled clinical trial and is from an actual patient. And in my experience, I'm in this industry for quite a while I have never experience such a push-flow of clinical samples during the development phase of these tests. Everybody who develops molecular diagnostic tests will tell you consistently that the hardest part of our job is to get clinical samples. And that's frankly surprising to me how that is not the case in TrovaGene. And Mark you may?

Mark Erlander

Well, I mean I think to answer your question. For example, in the Erdheim-Chester, the histiocytic program that we are doing, we did start out first at M.D. Anderson and did some initial work there. And it was our collaborator there, he was really excited about it, and he called his colleagues at Sloan-Kettering, who he has worked with before and then said, we need to do even a bigger study.

And so it does grow that way through peer-to-peer conversations or -- and that's actually the best way of identifying another collaborator. We do have, as Toni said, have a lot of interest unsolicited to us. I think the key thing that we always keep in mind here at TrovaGene is that, and to Toni's point earlier, we simply don't just do clinical studies. We have to really identify where the use of cell-free DNA diagnostics has true clinical utility.

For example, in our model system with histiocytic, we identified, the reason we went after that so fast and so hard was that 50% to 60% of those patients they cannot get a biopsy and we also know that if they do have a BRAF mutation, they have an amazing response to be BRAF inhibitors.

And so here you have a population where half of them will have the mutation necessary to have a response. However, 50% to 60% these patients you can't get a biopsy. And the only way to get a biopsy is through a cell-free in this case, urine or plasma. And we demonstrated with urine. It has great -- you basically get a mutation status on every single patient.

And so then that issue there, that was clinical utility. That is to say, that simply here is a reason to use cell-free. So not to go on too long here, I think that what we're doing is we're really handpicking the ones, the collaborations that really drive utility, which will drive adoption, which will then, of course drive the reimbursement as well.

Bryan Brokmeier - Maxim Group

And also I don't want you to get into too much detail on this, but based on some of the studies that you and your partners have conducted to date, and those that you have seen from other companies that are developing CTC or circulating free tumor DNA biomarkers, can you maybe provide a little bit of some of your thoughts on how your assays compare to those other companies?

Antonius Schuh

Maybe I'd answer that first, because Mark is usually very modest about his assay. So I think first of all, in this space I think everybody who is involved in cancer monitoring would agree that over the past 18 to 24 months cell-free DNA has emerged as the diagnostic specimen of choice with a vengeance.

It's really the performance of cell-free DNA as diagnostic specimen is superb. I do believe, and it is safe to say that in the same way how cell-free DNA have less circulating fetal cells behind in the minimal invasive prenatal market, cell-free DNA will be the dominating clinical specimen in cancer monitoring.

And then you are left with a question, well, how do you best get it? If you have a blood sample that's fine, but what is the prevalence of cell-free DNA if your blood sample is not enough, right. What if it's the light sample than you need to get a bigger sample? That's easy with urine, difficult with blood?

What if you need to get samples very often, because you're monitoring dynamic behavior on shorter timelines? That's easy with urine, that's difficult with blood. What is with the home care settings? Their urine is better than blood. And so we are very confident with urine, but our assays work with cell-free DNA from blood and from urine. They work with both. And we feel that we have achieved industry-leading analytical sensitivity. I think we are comfortable to claim single molecule sensitivity with inputs of up to 100,000 genomes or more. And I think that's pretty good.

And we have also shown a very nice quantitative performance over essentially that entire dynamic range, over that dynamic range of five logs, and we believe you need that. I think we believe you need that type of analytical performance. And now to make a fine point here, what if your entire sample contains only 1,000 cell-free genomes? And you might need five orders of magnitude of dynamic range and your analytical assay could embrace or could manage five orders of dynamic range, but your sample has only three.

Then essentially the clinical sensitivity of your assay is not limited by your assay technology, it's limited by your specimen. It's essentially only a portion of the haystack, while you are looking for the needle and you want to look at the entire haystack.

So the reason why I'm so evasive about this is, whenever you talk about analytical sensitivity, you need to realize that when it's hard to get a diagnostic specimen, very often the limiting fact of your sensitivity is not your assay, it's your sample. And that's what urine overcomes. Mark?

Mark Erlander

I can only echo Tony's comments regarding that. I do think that the issue of analytical sensitivity is sometimes used as a way to compare technologies in this space; or in fact the reality is that, not only do you have to have analytical sensitivity of single molecule detection, but you do have to have a specimen that has enough genomes to be able to see, like for example, one in 100,000.

So I think that there is really the specimen, the biological specimen or the liquid biopsy that you obtain becomes very important, depending on the different clinical questions that you're asking. And I think that, as Tony said, because we came from the urine-based approach and developed assays that were with very short footprints that allows us, enables us, to move into other biological specimen such as plasma as well or other biopsies or tissue biopsies for that matter.

But I think the key critical question is, what is the clinical question that you're trying to address and what is the best specimen for that. And many times what it is, is it's urine because of the fact that you have a lot more DNA, and you also can do a frequency of testing is not relegated to in office or in hospital or to have your blood drawn. So these advantages become critically important in the practicalities of optimizing therapy for a cancer patient.

Bryan Brokmeier - Maxim Group

And you mentioned in your prepared remarks, all the different mutations that you are targeting, and you plan on introducing assays for all of these by the end of 2015. So what are the near-term assays that you're targeting? What are the next mutations? And when do you see those becoming available, particularly those before the end of 2014?

Antonius Schuh

So, Brian, Mark will answer that, but let me give you two sentences of explanation before he answers this. So as we develop our analytical procedure, our first objective was to show that we can achieve desired analytical performance. Second objective was to say, well, can we move to next-generation sequencing, because then we have very high specificity, the universal detector has very high specificity.

And now, while it is understandable, but from the outside you might think, okay, now we're going to add one assay after the other. What we are really doing internally is we are automating the assay development process, because we ultimately want to be in a position that we, say, you tell us the mutation. And I don't want to pin mark now on the time, but in a very short period of time, we are able to crank out an assay to track that mutation.

So yes, we do have the near-term plan about what the next oncogenes are that we want to cover, some have one mutation, some have many. But keep that in mind, the true objective is to really automate this assay rollout now. So you go from the one of digital PCR to a highly multiplexed detector next-gen sequencing to developing the design parameters for the primers and so on that is fully automated. Mark?

Mark Erlander

I mean, as Tony just said, we transitioned earlier this year to a next-generation sequencing platform because of the scalability. And we've talked about this in prior calls, the scalability and the ability to run many more samples, and also the ability to have much higher, tighter qualification of mutational status overtime or longitudinally for patient. We're converting the BRAF assay that we initially worked on a digital drop into an NGS quantitative that will be completed. Our KRAS, we offer right now qualitative, will be quantitative. These are all things that will happen for the end of the year. We also are targeting the obvious EGFR/T790M mutations as well.

And we have in the pipeline, the one that I mentioned, those are all coming in. And quite frankly, we're churning as fast as we can. But we are building what I would consider to be a formulaic approach, which is what Tony was talking about, and building the pillars and the foundation for that. And so that also is a parallel process to what we are doing now and delivering these assays that I mentioned. Is that helpful?

Bryan Brokmeier - Maxim Group

Yes, very much.


And everyone, at this time I'm showing no additional questions. I'd like to turn the conference call back over for any closing remarks.

Antonius Schuh

Well, thank you very much for your interest in the company. We appreciate it. And so if you have any further questions contact us by email, over phone, you know where we are. And talk to you all soon.


Ladies and gentlemen, the conference has now concluded. We do thank you for attending today's presentation. You may now disconnect your telephone lines.

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