PBIO: On Track to Launch Two New Products in 1H14

Zacks Small Cap Research

By Grant Zeng, CFA

OTCQB:PBIO


The HUB880 Launched


In our previous report, we predicted that Pressure BioSciences (PBIO) is going to launch two new products in the first half of 2014.

Specifically, we predicted that the HUB880 will be launched during 1Q14 and the High Throughput Barocycler will be launched in June 2014.

On March 19, 2014 announced the commercial release of the Barocycler HUB880, the newest addition to the Company's growing line of high-pressure instrument systems. The Company also announced the sale (and shipment) of its first HUB880 system to Dr. Wayne Hubbell of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).  PBIO plans to showcase the HUB880 at the upcoming U.S. Human Proteome Organization's 10th Annual Conference to be held at the Westin-Seattle (WA), April 6-9, 2014.

The HUB880 is a first-in-kind instrument.  It is an automated, computer-controlled, bench-top, ultra-high pressure instrument.  The HUB880 can generate pressures up to 100,000 psi.  This is the type of pressure that will be very helpful to scientists making vaccines, to researchers in the food industry (pathogen inactivation studies), material science applications (quality control of petroleum, hydraulic fluid, plastics, valves, etc.). And it will play an important role in life sciences research, as these pressures will unravel the secrets of many biological substances that are not extracted/inactivated/recovered/etc. at “lower” pressures.

PBIO’s HUB880 targets the large market of vaccines, food industry and material science. The HUB880 costs about $75,000 per unit.

There are approximately 500,000 scientists worldwide working with biological samples, such as animal, plant, microbial, and human cells.  These cells, and the biomolecules that constitute them (e.g., proteins, lipids, DNA) have historically been controlled using temperature and chemicals. However, studies have shown that cells/biomolecules also respond to specific levels of pressure in unique and reproducible ways.  Thus, with its ability to reach ultra-high pressure levels significantly beyond any automated bench-top pressure instrument commercially available today, the Barocycler HUB880 can potentially offer scientists the unique ability to control certain cells and biomolecules in ways never before achievable.

High Throughput Barocycler Will be Launched in 1H14   

The HUB880 is the first new product PBIO promised to launch in 1H14, and the company did it. Now PBIO has another big one to be launched in Q2 2014.  The company remains on track to meet this guidance.

The second one is the High Throughput Barocycler, which will be launched in June 2014.

The High Throughput (HT) Barocycler uses the disposable microwell strips that are universally used by labs worldwide. PBIO’s ability to perform PCT with these strips will allow the Company to directly integrate its PCT instruments with the current automated robotically-driven microwell templates used by thousands of labs worldwide. This instrument is expected to be launched in June 2014.

The high throughput system is a breakthrough technology for PBIO. PBIO announced in June 2013 that they have achieved and passed proof-of-principle objectives in their multi-year investment into the development of a high throughput (HT) system for their patented pressure cycling technology (PCT) platform. The new HT design will allow their PCT platform to integrate with the automated, universally accepted HT sample preparation and analytical system formats installed in tens of thousands of biological research laboratories worldwide. 

This breakthrough also has the potential to significantly accelerate its growth in existing and new PCT-based applications and products, and its ability to attract and form new strategic partnerships.

Many research laboratories working with biological samples worldwide use automated, HT sample preparation and analytical systems in their studies. HT systems generally use sample handling robotics and “multiwell” test plates in standardized formats (e.g., 24, 96, or 384 wells per plate) for processing and testing large numbers of samples simultaneously. The multiwell plate is often processed in an automated fashion, allowing scientists to perform other important tasks while samples are being processed unattended.

Although a number of studies have shown significant advantages of the PCT platform in preparing biomolecules (e.g., DNA, proteins, and lipids) for analysis, the PCT platform continues to be used primarily in small but important research studies. Unlike today’s popular HT multiwell plates that use an automated, unattended approach, the PCT Platform uses individual test tubes that require a lot of manual sample handling. These manual sample handling requirements have prevented the PCT platform from being better accepted by the research community. To that end, PBIO’s new HT multiwell format will substantially enhance and accelerate the acceptance of the PCT platform in the life sciences R&D marketplace. This technology breakthrough is a game-changer for PBIO in our view.

Revenue Growth Will Accelerate in 2014 and Beyond  

While the new HT multiwell PCT platform has the potential to significantly accelerate growth in existing and new PCT applications and products, installed base and strategic partnerships, both HUB880 and the new HT will accelerate sales reach and overall revenue growth in fiscal 2014 and beyond.

Recently, PBIO reported record quarterly total revenue of $420,762 in 3Q13 and record quarterly Shredder System sales of $50,480. The financial success in 3Q13 was achieved from the company’s continued progress in implementing its aggressive sales and marketing plan. PBIO expanded its strategic marketing and sales program with Constant Systems, increased its social media presence, revamped its corporate website, and increased its support of and training programs with its distributors. PBIO increased its marketing presence in the life sciences area, and increased its sales out-reach to potential users of the PCT system.  These efforts resulted in record instrument and consumable sales for the quarter.

PBIO has reported three consecutive quarters with total revenue exceeding the prior year period.  Management disclosed that the company had a very strong start in the first five weeks of Q4. We believe sales will continue to grow in 4Q2013 and in fiscal 2014.

For 4Q13, we estimate product sales will be $0.25 million, an increase of 104% over $0.12 million for 4Q12. Total product sales will reach $1 million and total revenue for the year of 2013 will reach the $1.5 million mark for the first time in the company’s history according to our estimate.

Based on the two new products launch and continued marketing efforts by management, we estimate product sales will reach $1.5 million in fiscal 2014, an increase of 45.6% over $1 million product sales for fiscal 2013. 

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