Company News: Curetis Group: Ares Genetics Receives Funding Commitment for EUR 1.6 Mio. Project; Curetis Announces Non-Audited Financial Results for 2017
— Curetis subsidiary Ares Genetics receives funding commitment from Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) for EUR 1.6 million project „The Digital Microbe“
— „The Digital Microbe“ project builds on GEAR platform to develop machine learning tools to combat antibiotic resistances
— Curetis Group announces preliminary, non-audited financial results for 2017
Curetis N.V. (the “Company” and, together with Curetis GmbH, “Curetis”), a developer of next-level molecular diagnostic solutions, today announced that Ares Genetics GmbH (Vienna, Austria), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Curetis, has received notice from the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) that it has been awarded a grant for a EUR 1.6 million research project.
Ares Genetics received the funding commitment for its “The Digital Microbe” project, a substantial extension of its GEAR (Genetic Antibiotic Resistance & Susceptibility Database) platform for the development of novel solutions for the biopharmaceutical and diagnostics industry.
The project „The Digital Microbe“ aims at developing deep machine learning tools and advanced bioinformatics algorithms for the modeling, diagnostics and prediction of antibiotic resistances. The Company will use the algorithms for the rapid development of novel commercial solutions to support medical efforts in combatting antibiotic resistances. The solutions will address molecular diagnostics in microbiology as well as inform and accelerate the development of novel drugs to combat microbial infections.
„Following the introduction of novel methods for the molecular diagnostics of infectious diseases such as next-generation sequencing (NGS), genomic information on microbes and antibiotic resistances has become more and more important,” said Dr. Andreas Posch, a Managing Director of Ares Genetics. „As pathogens and resistances are constantly evolving, it is of utmost importance to observe, analyze, monitor and anticipate these developments. Therefore, we are delighted about the support from the Austrian Research Promotion Agency in tackling antibiotic resistance and developing novel bioinformatics tools. These tools will improve the rapid diagnosis of antibiotic resistances in patients and will speed up the development of novel antimicrobials.”
Dr. Achim Plum, also Managing Director of Ares Genetics and Chief Business Officer of the Curetis Group, added: “This non-dilutive grant from FFG allows us to advance the strategic agenda of Ares Genetics faster and to develop high-caliber offerings in particular for the pharmaceutical industry, a customer segment which is an important element for a sustainable business model of Ares Genetics.”
Moreover, Curetis Group reported preliminary, non-audited financials for its business year 2017. Revenues in 2017 were EUR 1.2 million (vs. EUR 1.3 million in 2016). EUR 0.7 million thereof were generated by cartridge sales (vs. EUR 0.56 million in 2016) and EUR 0.5 million by system and services sales (vs. EUR 0.75 million in 2016).
Cash and cash equivalents as of December 31, 2017, amounted to EUR 16.3 million excl. EUR 0.3 million for a VAT refund receivable. Therefore, total year-end liquidity was EUR 16.6 million. This number includes a EUR 10 million tranche of a debt financing facility provided by the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The worldwide installed base of Unyvero Analyzers as of December 31, 2017, was 175, slightly deviating from the original guidance of 200 Unyvero Analyzers for 2017. The main reason for this deviation is the shift of the expected FDA clearance and the corresponding U.S. product launch to 2018.
„We expect a near-term clearance decision for our Unyvero System and LRT Cartridge by the FDA,” said Oliver Schacht, CEO of Curetis N.V. „The U.S. product launch is fully prepared and can be initiated immediately after clearance. We have built a team of 17 marketing, sales and service professionals in the U.S. and our warehouse in San Diego is stocked with systems and cartridges in order to install the first products very rapidly.”