Sequenom's Management Presents At Bank Of America Merrill Lynch 2012 Healthcare Conference (Transcript)

Sequenom Inc. (SQNM)

Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2012 Healthcare Conference Call

May 15, 2012 4:00 p.m. ET


Ron Lindsay, Ph.D. - Director and Executive Vice President, Research & Development

William Welsh - Senior Vice President, Diagnostics

Dirk van de Boom, Ph.D. - Senior Vice President, Research & Development


Derik de Bruin - Bank of America Merrill Lynch


Welcome to the afternoon session of the 2012 Bank of America Merrill Lynch Healthcare Conference. I’m Derik de Bruin, the life sciences, tools and diagnostics analyst and our first company up this afternoon is going to be Sequenom. Here today from Sequenom we have Ron Lindsay, Director and Executive VP of R&D. We also have William Welsh, Senior Vice President, Diagnostics, and Dirk van de Boom, Senior VP of R&D, with us here today and there’ll be a brief presentation and then we’ll open it up for questions and answers after that.

With that, thank you and look forward to hearing it.

Ron Lindsay

Thanks. Okay. All right. Thank you, Derrick, and good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to the Sequenom presentation and I’d like thank B of A for the opportunity to be here for the first time and, in keeping with the recommendation, we’ll probably show fewer slides than usual, but, hopefully, we can update you on some key points.

For the last two or three years the senior leadership team and Sequenom has been sometimes accused, rightly or wrongly, of being very conservative. This is the bags that we don’t to give up in the near future, but I think its fair to say six months into launch of a very important product, we’re actually pretty mildly excited, I’d have to say. I think we share with you some of the updates on that and we’ll have time for some Q&A at the end.

So, first of all, for those of you here listening in, the Safe Harbor statement, just to remind you, you can read this in detail on our website with the whole presentation. At Sequenom, for those of you who may not be so familiar with the company, has two operating segments; our historical Genetic Analysis business, which has been the core of our research instrumentation and regent business for some years and the business that we are evolving towards, our Molecular Diagnostics business where we’re transitioning. Hopefully, our goal is to be a leader in this area in the next few years.

In terms of total revenue, 2011 was a good year for the company. Our overall revenues were up about 18% year-on-year. And, particularly, against the backdrop of the recession we were pleased that our Genetic Analysis business, actually saw some growth for some of our certainly much larger competitors in the instrumentation business saw some significant pricing and revenue pressures.

Clearly the other side of our business is the Sequenom Center for Molecular Medicine, our two CLIA labs, one in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a newer lab in California and our corporate site where we run all of our prenatal tests and apply the MaterniT21 PLUS test, any of our sequencing tests.

Over the course of 2011, our total test volume, which was primarily driven by our cystic fibrosis test, but also our Rhesus D and our AMD test and, at the time, our T21 launch test, we built a total of about 21,000 tests.

We’re pleased to report that for the first quarter of ’12 we already have received 12,700 total tests. Of these, perhaps, most significant to many of you, the launch of the maternity test and now the MaterniT21 PLUS test, we, from launch on October 17 of last year until the end of the year, we’re pleased that we got off to a good start with about 1,000 tests and the first quarter of this year we’re pleased that we received almost 5,000 tests, over 4,900 to be exact. So, we’re very pleased with this start of adoption and we’ll talk a little bit more detail about our projections or scenarios we anticipate for the rest of the year.

Clearly while our genetic analysis business and all the tests have been a very important foundation for the company, I think for many of you, certainly, the near-term driver for Sequenom is the MaterniT21 PLUS LDT. And just for a little bit of clarity, when we launched this test in October of last year, we initially focused on published data and we launched out for publication of a major clinical study involving T21 in particular.

Since then, as part of that overarching study, we have continued to publications and, most recently, have now included T1813 publication as part of our study and I think this has been very useful for the clinical community. So now the MaterniT21 PLUS test includes T21, T18 and T13. I won’t read the details that are showing up here, but the performance of this test has certainly met our highest expectation in terms of sensitivity, specificity, both for 21 and 18 and also rare T13.

We’re also very pleased that overall in terms of a no-result rate in our clinical study that was less than 1% or indeed less than 0.9%. So, this, we believe, is the first large scale clinical study with this kind of performance. Part of that woman-infant study that we conducted as a collaboration, but independent study by the [Bon] University was indeed to prove that this test would work both in the first and second trimester and the results from this study indeed prove that very thoroughly. So, at launch we were pleased to say that this test is certainly suitable from ten weeks of gestation onwards.

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