TruScreen widens first-half loss but expects fourth-quarter growth

Delays to Chinese approval of its device hampered sales.

NZAX-listed TruScreen posted a 30 percent drop in revenue and widened its loss in the first half on delays to Chinese approval for its cervical screening device.

Revenue dropped to $225,900 in the six months ended Sept. 30, from $361,400 a year earlier, while the first-half loss widened to $1.77 million from $1.68 million in the previous first half.

The Auckland-based cervical cancer test developer said its commercial performance was hampered in the first half due to delays in gaining CFDA approval for the TruScreen2 device in China, but that has now been received and it expects benefits to begin in the final quarter of FY18. The company also got $346,200 in other income, primarily from grants for research & development, in the first half.

The company said there is growing awareness and demand for cervical cancer screening in developing countries, and TruScreen is looking to increase its manufacturing capabilities both locally and overseas in certain key markets after getting CFDA approval, though it is still in the process of obtaining further regulatory approvals.

"China remains the primary opportunity for the company and the current focus is on encouraging the selection of TruScreen technology for large screening programmes, as well as increasing adoption in large provincial hospitals," the company said. "After China, India is potentially the world's largest screening market with close to 300 million women of screening age and the Indian government is looking to set up public screening programmes. TruScreen is currently going through the validation process for inclusion in these programmes."

The company is also being evaluated by Mexico's Ministry of Health, has been approached for reimbursement by a major health insurer in Jordan, and an evaluation in the Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney "is progressing well", with initial results showing that the device will be substantially more accurate than cytology in developing countries, it said.

The shares last traded at 18 cents and have gained 20 percent this year.


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