Biomarker MicroCap Face-Off: BGMD vs VRML

Vermillion announced Q1 Results today today with OVA1 revenues of $312K of which $114 k was licensing revenues from their testing partner Quest Diagnostics Inc.(DGX $57). Operating expenses were down to $2.4M compared to$4.8M in the same period a year ago for a Q1 Net Loss of  $1.8M or (0.12) per share. The Company’s cash and cash equivalents was $19.9M with Shareholder Equity of $8.7M.Test volume for OVA1 was 3,952 with increase to 4,100-4,400 for Q2. A category 1 CPT Code was obtained for the OVA1 multiple biomarker test , effective Jan.1 of 2013, which helps differentiate benign from malignant ovarian masses. The Company also announced a CEO succession plan with expectations it will replace Gail S. Page by Sep 2012, and she has resigned from the Board of Directors.Ms. Page holds 224, 907 shares of stock according to latest filings.S.A.C. Capital Advisors and Valiant Capital Management are the major institutional holders. The stock VRML ($2.00) has been very volatile over the past quarter and especially heavy volume in March with a range of $1.90 to 3.00 , but the stock is up 70%YTD.

Since we began the tracking of these two development stage biomarker test companies on April 3 the VRML stock has remained flat while the B G Medicine (BGMD $4) has declined 43%. BG Medicine also announced Q1 financial results today with Revenues of $480k with a loss of ($0.38) per share and Shareholder Equity of $14.4M.The market cap  of BGMD is $80M still substantially higher than VRML of $30M. Major holders of BGMD are Capital World 1.4M and GE with 1.365M shares.

So BGMD has a slight edge in revenue ramp whereas VRML offers better value if one looks only at market cap. However we will not know until year end how each of these new biomarker tests will be accepted by the market. Forecasted revenues for both companies by the end of 2012 are in the $5M running rate range  but Q1 is really a launch quarter.

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