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Pressure BioSciences "poised to grow dramatically" in fiscal 2012, says Zacks Research

Zacks Research Thursday gave a positive assessment of biotech instrument maker Pressure BioSciences (NASDAQ:PBIO).

In a note, Zacks Research analyst, Grant Zeng, said: "The company has turned the corner. We think PBIO is poised to grow dramatically in fiscal 2012."

The independent research firm maintains an "outperform" rating for the company with a price target of $5 per share.

Pressure BioSciences' key product, the Barocycler, is an instrument that uses pressure cycling technology (PCT), or rapid and repeating cycles of hydrostatic pressure at controlled temperatures, in order to extract cell components in preparing a biological sample, for further study. Biological samples could include DNA, RNA, proteins, and lipids from humans, animals, and plants.

The PBI sample preparation system has been proven to be safer, more accurate, reproducible, and much faster than current cell extraction methods - with up to 48 samples able to be processed from a wide variety of cells and tissues within minutes.

"The company’s PCT Sample Preparation System (PCT SPS) has competitive advantages over existing technologies in the sample preparation market. The company continues to make progress in pushing the technology from the conventional use in life science labs into new application areas," the Zacks report noted.

The closed system, which reduces sample handling and therefore minimizes exposure to toxins for scientists, also works with computer-controlled protocols that ensure consistent sample extraction every time, said Pressure BioSciences.

"We think the company’s Barocycler instrumentations and PCT-dependent consumable products fill an important and growing need in the sample preparation market for the safe, rapid, versatile, reproducible, and quality extraction of nucleic acids, proteins, and small molecules from a wide variety of plant and animal cells and tissues," Zeng said.

Zacks' Zeng also said that the company has made "great progress" in 2011, as it received grants of $161,000 from the National Institutes of Health to help develop a new method for the processing of cancer and other samples, and a grant from the US Defense Department for $750,000 to help develop a new PCT-based instrument for high throughput processing.

Pressure BioSciences' revenue in the third quarter was 50 percent greater than revenue in either the first or second quarters of the year. Its PCT products revenue in the third quarter was the highest it has been in a year.

The company has also filed and been granted a three year, S-3 shelf registration for up to $15 million, so that the company will have access to funds, if needed. It has already successfully used the shelf registration in an $843,000 offering last month.

Pressure BioSciences also expects to announce expanded distribution capabilities for its PCT product line before the end of the 2011 year.

"PBIO is an emerging leader in the sample preparation market with its unique and powerful PCT platform technology. The company’s PCT technology has competitive advantages over existing technologies in the sample preparation market.

"As we pointed out in our previous research reports, PBIO is still in its early stage of commercialization and PCT is increasingly gaining recognition by research labs worldwide," Zeng concluded.

Earlier this month, the company announced that the Nasdaq has given it until February 29th to return into compliance, with its shares remaining listed on the market until this time.