BioSphere Medical Inc. (NSDQ:BSMD) managed to cut its losses in half during 2009, ending the year with a 7 percent sales increase.
The Rockland, Mass.-based microsphere maker reported a net loss of $293,000 on $8.4 million in sales during the three months ended Dec. 31, 2009, compared to a $1.7 million loss on $7.2 million in sales for the same period in 2008.
For the full year, BioSphere halved its losses, reporting a $3.2 million loss on $31 million in sales, compared to a $6 million loss on $29 million in revenues during 2008. BioSphere said it significantly cut expenses by turning its marketing efforts from a national campaign to a more targeted, local approach.
The revenue increase was mostly the result of a nearly 70 percent increase in sales of products used by radiologists to treat liver cancer, which BioSphere claimed was a direct result of “publications and podium presentations by thought leaders of the results of their independent work in the use of our embolics.”
The company said it sees a fertile market for its products in the treatment of liver cancer. BioSphere is working with the Food & Drug Administration to secure an investigational device exemption for a 200-patient pivotal study using doxorubicin-loaded QuadraSpheres to treat primary liver cancer. The company estimates that there are more than 600,000 cases of liver cancer across the globe.
Sales of the company’s embolics, used to treat uterine fibroids, also saw a 5 percent increase during the fourth quarter, mostly on the strength of sales outside the United States.
In other news, BioSphere revealed that two of its largest institutional shareholders have added to their stakes in the firm over the past year.
In filings with the federal Securities & Exchange Commission, Boston-based private equity fund Portolan Capital Management LLC pushed its stake to more than 1.2 million shares, or nearly 7 percent of BioSphere’s total. Portolan reported last year that it owned just more than 900,000 shares of BioSphere stock.
And Boston-based Clough Capital Partners LP also disclosed a slightly larger stake in the company, increasing its ownership by about 100,000 shares to 1.4 million, good for a nearly 8 percent stake in BioSphere.