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Sequenom earnings down, but invests for future growth

Sequenom Inc. (Nasdaq: SQNM) continued to post losses in the third quarter and the first nine months of the year, but the biotech diagnostics firm increased its revenues while laying the foundation for future growth.

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office on Nov. 2 issued a Notice of Allowance for a U.S. patent for a drug known as CMM MaterniT21 plus LDT, which is used in the treatment of fetal organ disorders.

"Importantly, we are seeing greater recognition from the payors and networks as 46 million Americans now have network access to the test," said Paul V. Maier, Sequenom's CFO. "Additionally, to support our continued growth, we strengthened our balance sheet significantly with the completion of our $130 million convertible note financing transaction in September of 2012."

For the quarter ended Sept. 30, Sequenom posted a net loss of $30.22 million on $22.85 million in revenues, compared with a net loss of $18.61 million on $13.58 million in revenues for the like period a year earlier.

For the nine months ended on Sept. 30, Sequenom recorded an $84.3 million loss on $56.02 million in revenues, compared with a loss of $51.98 million on $40.42 million in revenues for the comparable period in 2011.

As of Sept. 30, total cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities for Sequenom were $193.4 million.

Net cash used in operating activities was $63.7 million for the first nine months of 2012, while purchases of capital equipment and leasehold improvement for the same period totaled $14.2 million, funded partially through utilization of the company's credit facility. As of Sept. 30, Sequenom had borrowed $20 million under the credit facility.

Sequenom CMM has also rapidly expanded access to the testing services for eligible patients, from 20 metropolitan areas at launch to all 50 states, with a significantly augmented sales force of 75 representatives, up from 20 at launch in the fall of 2011.

Sequenom’s stock price was trading at about $3.65 in mid-morning trading Friday. The stock has ranged from $2.65 to $5.83-per-share during the past 52 weeks.

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