Categories Health Care, Interviews

Current focus is on scaling up capabilities: 10x Genomics CEO Serge Saxonov

Company looking to expand business by establishing a foothold in the emerging field of In Situ through strategic acquisitions

10x Genomics, Inc. (NASDAQ: TXG), a pioneer in single-cell genomics, has been eliciting significant investor interest ever since it went public more than a year ago. The biotechnology firm has strived to bring innovation to the business by consistently rolling out new products and adding new capabilities to its existing products.

The company’s shares have maintained a steady uptrend since the Wall Street debut and hit an all-time high last month. They have gained 79% so far this year.

In Situ push

As part of its efforts to broaden the portfolio, the company recently clinched two strategic deals – acquisition of CartaNA AB, a Stockholm-based developer of In Situ RNA analysis technology, and Boston-based In Situ technology firm ReadCoor, Inc. Going forward, the management intends to invest more in the field of In Situ and establish a third technology platform that complements the existing Chromium Single Cell and Visium Spatial platforms.

In Situ is an emerging gene sequencing approach that allows scientists to analyze a large number of molecules directly in tissue. The Chromium platform is designed for the analysis of individual biological components at scale, while Visium allows researchers to analyze messenger RNA molecules within their morphological context.

In an interview with AlphaStreet, chief executive officer Serge Saxonov said, “ At 10x, we try to see where the world is going and work backwards from that to determine what is best for our customers. We did this with Single-Cell early on and launched Chromium in 2016; we did this again with Spatial and launched Visium a year ago; and now we believe we are doing the same with In Situ.”

Client base

Encouragingly, research institutions and academic labs that constitute 10X Genomics’ primary customers are looking for long-term association with the company. Also, there is growing interest from pharmaceutical companies, thanks to the impressive adoption of its products in the academic and biopharma markets for discovery research. It is estimated that most tissue samples would be analyzed using at least one of the company’s platforms in the future, for basic science research or clinical applications.

10x Genomics Q3 2020 Earnings Infographic

We continue to see new and repeat purchases from research institutions and academic labs and growing interest from pharmaceutical companies. In addition to the strong adoption of our products in the academic and Biopharma markets for discovery research, we are seeing emerging interest in translational applications, particularly with our Visium platform.

On being asked about the turnaround goal, Saxonov said the focus is on tapping the unfolding opportunities. He added that the company is at a nascent stage and exuded confidence in achieving profitability in the long term, citing the solid financial profile that gives it the flexibility to make investments. Meanwhile, the CEO ruled out any near-term fundraising as he believes the liquidity position is sufficient to meet the current requirements.

Stress on expansion

Commenting on the recent follow-on public offering, he said the proceeds would mainly be used for research and development activities to expedite product development and innovations in the Chromium, Visium, and In Situ platforms. The other priorities are investments in the business and development of the patent portfolio.

“We launched our Version 2 of the Immune Profiling Product in July. The new version provides a number of performance improvements that customers have been waiting for. It allows for large-scale sequencing of paired immune cell receptors together with joint profiling of immune cells and also delivers significantly higher gene detection sensitivity, yielding more insights with greater efficiency,” said Saxonov on the performance of the Immune Profiling Product and COVID-related researches.

Mixed Q3

For the third quarter, the company reported a 17% year-over-year increase in revenues to $71.8 million, which also came in above Wall Street’s projection. It incurred a wider loss of $65.85 million or $0.65 per share in the quarter than $9.6 million or $0.33 per share in the corresponding period of last year.

The management attributed the strong top-line performance to the improvement in the operating environment as laboratories started reopening for general research. There is a stable demand for instruments and consumables as a number of customers are using them for COVID-related research.

Established in 2012, 10x Genomics is headquartered in Pleasanton, California. It has carved a niche for itself in genome sequencing technology, offering integrated solutions including instruments, software, and consumables.

For more insights into10x Genomics, read the latest earnings call transcript here

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