San Diego Business Journal

Gen-Probe Expects Double-Digit Sales Growth in 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Gen-Probe Inc.’s new product launches are off to a good start and will drive double-digit revenue growth in 2012, Chairman and CEO Carl Hull said in a statement Jan. 9. The company has previously said it expects 2011 revenue of $575 million to $580 million.

Among its new products is the Aptima HPV assay, a molecular test to detect human papillomavirus, which causes cervical cancer. San Diego-based Gen-Probe gained the Food and Drug Administration’s approval for the test in November.

The diagnostics device company said that it has already recorded its first commercial sales of the product, but did not go into further detail. Hull will discuss Gen-Probe’s business highlights in more depth Jan. 10 at the 30th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco.

The conference is expected to draw 8,000 participants and 395 presenting companies, according J.P. Morgan, including many key players from the San Diego biotech and pharmaceutical scene.

In a statement, Hull said that in the year ahead Gen-Probe will continue to add new products to its line of tests for sexually transmitted diseases and blood screening, which will “accelerate top-line growth,” Hull said.

At the same time, the company will ramp up its product pipeline for the future, Hull said. The company will be investing in “attractive new product opportunities where our core capabilities and customer relationships provide competitive advantage,” he said.

The company’s research and development priorities for 2012 include two significant instrument development programs that leverage the company’s automation expertise and intellectual property.

One program will seek to add real-time PCR (short for polymerase chain reaction) capabilities to the company’s Panther system, a research instrument for analyzing molecular diagnostic test samples, and another will focus on developing a new instrument to automate molecular testing from liquid-based cytology specimens. Liquid-based cytology is a method of preparing cervical samples to test for HPV.

Gen-Probe trades on Nasdaq under the symbol GPRO. Shares were up 1.3 percent at $60.84 in Monday afternoon trading.

— Kelly Quigley