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Biocept Reports Second Quarter 2019 Financial Results



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Biocept, Inc. (NASDAQ: BIOC), a leading commercial provider of liquid biopsy tests designed to provide physicians with clinically actionable information to improve the outcomes of cancer patients, reports financial results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2019, and provides an update on its business progress.

“I’m pleased to report another quarter of strong performance with revenues increasing 45% over the prior-year quarter, as we continue to execute on our new commercial strategy,” said Michael Nall, President and CEO of Biocept.  “Growth was driven by a 26% year-over-year increase in commercial samples, as we focused our commercial efforts on segments of the liquid biopsy oncology market where Target Selector™ can help the most patients, namely in prostate, breast, and lung cancers. Most importantly, we are helping more patients as our billable samples accessioned per sales day entering the third quarter increased approximately 50% from the beginning of the year.

“We have now launched two tumor-specific panels developed in collaboration with Thermo Fisher Scientific,” he added.  “These products, Target Selector™ NGS Lung Panel and Target Selector™ NGS Breast Panel, combine Thermo Fishers’ state-of-the-art Ion Torrent™ next-generation sequencing (NGS) platform with our CLIA laboratory and commercial infrastructure, as well as our expertise in blood sample preservation and DNA/RNA isolation.  Biocept is the only commercial liquid biopsy company offering both circulating tumor cell (CTC) and circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) analysis with both single-gene and multi-gene offerings.

“I’m also pleased to report that our initiative with Prognos has advanced to the next phase as we are beginning to supply them with de-identified information in real time.  We believe this partnership will allow us to commercialize data generated from our liquid biopsy testing, with Prognos applying its artificial intelligence technology to its repository of more than 20 billion laboratory records to help life science and pharmaceutical companies develop and market targeted therapies.  We are pleased to be the first liquid biopsy company to strike a partnership with Prognos,” he concluded.

Review of Second Quarter and Recent Highlights

Commercial Business

  • Launched Target Selector™ NGS Lung Panel and Target Selector™ NGS Breast Panel, the Company’s first two multi-gene liquid biopsy panels, differentiating Biocept as the only commercial liquid biopsy provider of single-biomarker testing, tumor-specific panels and CTCs analysis. The NGS Panels run on Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Ion Torrent™ NGS platform and are being marketed to physicians and researchers for the detection and monitoring of actionable biomarkers associated with these tumor-specific cancers.

Commercial Agreements

  • Announced an agreement with Beacon Laboratory Benefit Solutions, Inc. designating Biocept as a BeaconLBS® Lab-of-Choice. Beacon Laboratory is a nationally recognized provider of laboratory benefit management technology solutions to U.S.-based health and managed care companies, and the designation increases patient access to Biocept’s liquid biopsy testing platforms.

Intellectual Property

  • Awarded a patent in China covering methods and devices for the capture of rare cells of interest, including CTCs, that are shed into the bloodstream by solid tumors in which an antibody or mixture of antibodies and a microchannel are used for cell capture, detection and analysis. This patent covers the use of any biological sample type of interest.

Second Quarter Financial Results

Revenues for the second quarter of 2019 were $1.2 million, a 45% increase from $822,000 for the second quarter of 2018.  Revenues for the second quarter of 2019 included $1.1 million in commercial test revenue, $45,000 in development services test revenue, $28,000 in revenue for Target Selector RUO kits, which were commercially launched in early 2019, and CEE-Sure blood collection tubes.  Revenues for the second quarter of 2018 included $771,000 in commercial test revenue and $51,000 in development services test revenue.

Biocept accessioned 1,066 commercial samples during the second quarter of 2019, a 26% increase compared with 849 commercial samples accessioned during the second quarter of 2018.  The Company accessioned 1,211 billable samples in the second quarter of 2019, compared to 996 billable samples for the second quarter of 2018.

Cost of revenues for the second quarters of 2019 and 2018 was unchanged at $2.7 million, as we continued to leverage the fixed components of our costs.

Research and development (R&D) expenses for the second quarter of 2019 were $1.1 million compared with $1.0 millionfor the prior-year period, with the increase primarily due to the development and validation of the recently launched Target Selector™ NGS Lung and Target Selector™ NGS Breast liquid biopsy panels, as well as investments in automation.  General and administrative (G&A) expenses for the second quarters of 2019 and 2018 were unchanged at $1.7 million.  As a percentage of revenue, G&A expenses during the quarter were down 67% as compared to the same period last year as the Company continues with its cost containment program. Sales and marketing (S&M) expenses for the second quarter of 2019 were $1.6 million compared with $1.4 million for the second quarter of 2018, with the increase primarily attributed to higher volume and revenue. Despite the increase in costs, S&M expenses as a percentage of revenue were down 39% compared to the same period last year.

Other expenses for the second quarter of 2019 were $1.8 million, which were made up entirely of non-cash warrant inducement expenses associated with recognizing the fair value of the inducement warrants issued in May 2019.

The net loss for the second quarter of 2019 was $7.8 million, inclusive of the previously mentioned non-cash warrant inducement expenses of $1.8 million, or $0.38 per share on 20.5 million weighted-average shares outstanding. This compares with a net loss for the second quarter of 2018 of $6.2 million, or $2.70 per share on 2.3 million weighted-average shares outstanding. The Company conducted a 1-for-30 reverse stock split of its outstanding common stock, which was effective in July 2018.

Six Month Financial Results

Revenues for the first six months of 2019 were $2.2 million, a 36% increase from $1.6 million for the first six months of 2018, and included $2.1 million in commercial test revenues, $87,000 in development services test revenues and $33,000 in revenues for Target Selector RUO kits, which were commercially launched in early 2019, and CEE-Sure blood collection tubes.

Operating expenses for the first six months of 2019 were $14 million, and included cost of revenues of $5.3 million, R&D expenses of $2.4 million, G&A expenses of $3.4 million and S&M expenses of $3.0 million.

The net loss for the first six months of 2019 was $13.8 million, inclusive of the previously mentioned non-cash warrant inducement expenses of $1.8 million, or $0.83 per share on 16.7 million weighted-average shares outstanding.  This compares with a net loss for the first six months of 2018 of $12.5 million, or $5.97 per share, on 2.1 million weighted-average shares outstanding.

Biocept reported cash and cash equivalents as of June 30, 2019 of $12.6 million, compared with $3.4 million as of December 31, 2018.  The increase was due to $17.0 million in net proceeds from equity capital raises conducted in the first quarter of 2019, and $4.9 million from the exercise of common stock warrants in the second quarter of 2019.


SOURCE Biocept, Inc.

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IJCAI 2019 in the Spotlight: WeBank AI Group Shared Remarkable Academic Innovation



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The 28th International Joint Conferences on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI) was held from August 10th – 16th, in Macao, SAR, China. WeBank, the first private and digital bank in China, contributed to the event with multiple academic research findings, and demonstrated great engagement in IJCAI by organizing a heavy-weight workshop FML’19 (the 1st International Workshop on Federated Machine Learning for User Privacy and Data Confidentiality).

100+ World-leading Scholars Discussed Academic Frontier at the 1st International Workshop on Federated Machine Learning

The idea of adopting FML in AI for data confidentiality and user privacy was coined by WeBank in China. In a bid to promote this emerging AI technology, WeBank, IBM and other organizations jointly held the 1st International Workshop on Federated Machine Learning in conjunction with IJCAI 2019. 100+ leading scholars with insight in FML from home and abroad were invited to share cutting-edge academic findings and most advanced applications. President of IJCAI, Chief AI Officer of WeBank Professor Qiang Yang delivered opening remarks. Dr. Shahrokh Daijavad from IBM and Dr. Jakub Konečný from Google delivered keynote addresses. The moderator of panel discussion, AI Principal Scientist of WeBank Dr. Lixin Fan joined panelists including Professor Benny Pinkas from Bar-Ilan University, Dr. Shahrokh Daijavad of IBM Academy of Technology, Chief Architect of Squirrel AI Dr. Richard Tong, Research Scientist of Google Dr. Jakub Konečný, Dr. Baofeng Zhang from CTO Office of CBG Software in Huawei, Executive VP of Clustar Dr. Junxue Zhang, VP of AI Institute in Sinovation Ventures Dr. Ji Feng and other experts in exchanging thoughts on the way ahead for FML.

Take Stock on 40 Years’ Achievement of AI in China  Panel Discussion Featuring Chinese Characteristics

Elements of previous conferences including Traditional AI Session, Industry Day focused on industrial application and Best Paper Awards Session were inherited in this year’s IJCAI. IJCAI-19 also opened panels and workshops under the new agenda with a focus on most-discussed topics e.g., data privacy and AI universality. Chief AI Officer of WeBank Professor Qiang Yang engaged in multiple agendas as the President of IJCAI-19 and chair of two panel discussions namely AI in China, AI and User Privacy.

Panelists of “AI in China” include Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences Bo Zhang, Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering Wen Gao, Dean of School of AI of Nanjing University Professor Zhihua Zhou, Professor Pascale Fung of Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering of HKUST, Professor Tong Zhang of HKUST, CEO of 4Paradigm Wenyuan Dai. These leading figures in China’s AI sector shared stories within the industry. This theme, with its unique historic significance, added weight to IJCAI-19.

IJCAI-19 also witnessed the founding of the GuangdongHong KongMacao Greater Bay Area on AI and Robotics Federation. Announced at “AI in China” Panel, the establishment of this new Federation requires the three academic societies to pool leading scholars and experts in AI and robotics within their localities. The merge was widely supported, acclaimed and recognized across the industrial sector and the government as it will further promote cohesion of talents, spawning of scientific innovation, R&D and application of key technologies in China.

“AI and User Privacy” Panel was joined by Director of IEEE Standards Association Victoria Wang, Professor Pedro Domingos of University of Washington, Director of Swiss Re Institute Jeffrey Bohn, Senior Research Scientist of WeBank AI Dr. Yang Liu and a host of experts and scholars to further discussions on how to promote technology development and legislation process simultaneously, which is helpful to addressing the user privacy issue in the current stage of AI development.

WeBank Shared New Insight on AI Safety Workshop

Besides user privacy as discussed in the panel discussions, data confidentiality also represents a common concern in the age of big data. At the AI Safety 2019 Workshop, Senior Research Scientist of WeBank AI Dr. Yang Liu delivered a speech themed Federated Machine Learning (FML), and shared in-depth insight on how to safeguard user privacy and AI safety as well as a number of technologies for privacy protection. She also elaborated on three categories of FML, namely Horizontal Federated Learning, Vertical Federated Learning, Federated Transfer Learning. According to Dr. Liu, data confidentiality and user privacy are the two major challenges in the age of big data, particularly challenging for financial, medical, legal and other data sensitive industries, whereas FML is a great solution to both challenges.

AI Enabling Contextualized Application in Finance  WeBank Shared Insight on Digital Innovative Transformation

While FML serves as the theoretical basis, the application of FML represents a common concern for all walks of life. Challenges before the highly digitalized financial sector manifest even greater complexity and risk. At Industry Day in IJCAI 2019, Deputy Managing Director of WeBank AI Tianjian Chen shared in-depth insight on digital banking business in the financial sector under the theme “AI in Digital Banking”, and elaborated on the important role that AI plays in digital banking. Given the challenges of AI application in the financial sector, he pointed the way ahead for the new generation of AI. “Safety, fairness, data protection are major challenges in the application of AI in the banking sector,” he said. “FML is potentially the new path to take for addressing these challenges.” So far, WeBank AI Group has developed a series of pioneering technologies including FML, which are proven to be contributive to joint modeling for credit risk control and anti-money laundering, etc.

Demonstration of FML Visualization  WeBank Introduced Best Practice

WeBank AI Group is dedicated to promoting widespread application of FML across the industry, sharing capabilities, enabling multi-win results. Videos submitted by WeBank AI Group, including Multi-Agent Visualization for Explaining Federated AI, Learning Federated Learning, were accepted by Demonstration Track and AI Video Competition of IJCAI-19, of which, the latter was awarded Most Educational Video. The videos provide straightforward illustration of cases to attendees on how FML and FedAI system works, all designed for more partners within the industry to enhance understanding of FML technologies and become promoters.

As an endeavor to explore “AI + Art” fusion, the man-computer car racing game demo developed by WeBank AI Group based on FML technology will be displayed under the invitation of China Central Academy of Fine Arts, and is expected to be showcased in the Shenzhen and Shanghai Art Exhibition scheduled in late October and early November respectively.

Among 35 papers submitted in Demonstration Track, the research paper on AI empowering flexible staffing by WeBank, HKUST, NTU and BBK Group, titled Fair and Explainable Dynamic Engagement of Crowd Workers, won the Innovation Award.

WeBank “AI+X” Innovation Debut  Exploration of Future AI Ecosystem

In addition to academic research findings, WeBank AI Group also exhibited industry-leading innovations in four main areas namely “AI + Service”, “AI + Marketing”, “AI + Big Data”, “AI + Asset Management”, which drew the attention of government officials from Macao SAR, professors and scholars of universities and research institutions in China and abroad.

In the area of “AI + Big Data”, WeBank established FedAI ecosystem for cooperation, the world’s first industrial-grade framework for Federated Learning (FATE), AI scenario-based rapid modeling platform (QML). In “AI + Service”, WeBank explored new approaches and scenarios for human-computer interaction, developed ubiquitous robots focused on financial services, integrated core technologies such as NLP, TTS, OCR with scenarios, and expanded to a series of business contextualized applications. The robot developed independently by WeBank became a spotlight in the exhibition. In “AI + Marketing”, WeBank AI Group played a leading role in trust marketing development, aimed to promote long-link and long-term effective marketing conversion of high-value products. In “AI + Asset Management”, WeBank used new alternative big data and machine learning technology helped forge a new generation of AI-driven intelligent asset management system.

China’s scientific research capability is among the top in the world thanks to advances in big data, AI and other frontier technologies. As an internet bank dedicated to innovation in fintech, WeBank AI Group demonstrates its commitment in global collaboration for scientific research and sparks technological advances by coupling theory and application. Looking ahead, WeBank will further leverage its strength in AI technology and platform, integrate top-notch resource worldwide, forge high-level network for knowledge and research, and lead the way for global tech innovation.



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Galaxy Digital to Host a Shareholder Update Conference Call on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 at 9:00AM EDT



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Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd. (TSXV: GLXY; Frankfurt: 7LX) (“Galaxy Digital” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it will report second quarter 2019 financial results before the opening of the TSX-Venture Exchange on Wednesday, August 28, 2019.

Michael Novogratz, CEO and Founder of Galaxy Digital, and members of management will host a conference call to provide a general update to shareholders on the Company’s activities and results on the same day at 9:00 am Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

The dial-in number for callers in the United States or Canada is 800-289-0459. The dial-in number for callers in Germanyis 0800-589-4608. Callers who reside outside of the United StatesCanada or Germany should dial +1-323-794-2558. The passcode for all participants is 877692. For those unable to participate, an audio recording of the call will be available on the Company’s website until at least 5:00 pm EDT on September 17, 2019.


SOURCE Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd

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Crypto Earn: Now Earn 8% p.a. on DAI & MKR Deposits



Reading Time: 1 minute, the pioneering payments and cryptocurrency platform, announced today that it has listed Maker (MKR) and added DAI & MKR to Crypto Earn, allowing users to enjoy up to 8% p.a. on their deposits.

Dai (DAI) DAI is a USD-pegged stablecoin running on the Ethereum developed by the MakerDAO team. Its $1 USDequivalent is maintained through a dynamic system of Collateralized Debt Positions (CDPs), autonomous feedback mechanisms, and appropriately incentivized external actors. DAI can be used in the same manner as any other cryptocurrency: It can be freely sent to others, used as payments for goods and services, or held as long term savings.

Maker (MKR) is an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain that backs and stabilizes the value of stablecoin DAI through automatic pricing mechanisms built into smart contracts. MKR tokens are created or destroyed in accordance with price fluctuations of the DAI coin in order to keep it as close to $1 USD as possible and is part of a fully inspectable system on the Ethereum blockchain. MKR tokens are also used to pay transaction fees on the Maker system, and provide holders with voting rights within Maker’s continuous approval voting system.

Crypto Earn now supports 13 coins for holders to maximize their returns, including BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, BNB, TUSD, PAX, USDC, MCO, BAT, LINK with the addition of DAI and MKR. Interest is paid out weekly in the coin deposited with flexible, 1-month or 3-month terms available. Users earn more by staking at least 50 MCO.

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