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Chembio Diagnostics reports narrower loss, growing sales

Chembio Dignostics, Inc. Medford, Feb. 19, 2014. By

Chembio Dignostics, Inc. Medford, Feb. 19, 2014. By Heather Walsh Credit: Heather Walsh

Chembio Diagnostics Inc. said Thursday its loss narrowed in the October-December period compared with a year earlier on higher demand for its rapid tests for HIV, syphilis and other diseases.

The Medford-based manufacturer of point-of-care tests reported a loss of $2 million for the final three months of the year, down from $2.6 million in the 2016 period. Performance in the year-ago quarter was impacted when a competitor outbid Chembio on a contract to supply HIV and syphilis tests.

Sales rose in the October-December quarter to $6 million, an increase of 41 percent year over year.

Chembio’s testing technology “is a cornerstone from which we can build and launch a meaningful pipeline of products,” CEO John Sperzel said.

He noted the company has received an $8.5 million order to provide testing components and tests to Brazil this year and a three-year, $15.8 million contract to supply Ethiopia.

Chembio also secured $2.9 million from drugmaker AstraZeneca for development of a test to detect an undisclosed biomarker.

Sperzel said the company recently raised $11 million by selling more of its stock to the public.

For the year ended Dec. 31, the company reported a loss of $6.4 million, compared with a loss of $13.3 million in 2016. Sales climbed to $24 million, a 34 percent gain year over year.

The announcement came after the stock market closed. Chembio shares were unchanged at $7.70.

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