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908 Devices Inc. (MASS) Q3 2021 Earnings Call Transcript

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MASS earnings call for the period ending September 30, 2021.

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908 Devices Inc. (MASS -2.06%)
Q3 2021 Earnings Call
Nov 04, 2021, 8:30 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:


Operator

Good day, and thank you for standing by. Welcome to the 908 Devices third quarter 2021 financial results conference call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. After the speakers' presentation, there will be a question-and-answer session.

[Operator instructions] I would now like to hand the conference over to your speaker today, Kelly Gura, investor relations. Please go ahead.

Kelly Gura -- Investor Relations

Thank you. This morning, 908 Devices released financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2021. If you've not received this news release, or if you'd like to be added to the company's distribution list, please send an email to [email protected] Joining me today from 908 is Kevin Knopp, chief executive officer and co-founder; and Joe Griffith, chief financial officer.

Before we begin, I'd like to remind you that management will make statements during this call that are forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities laws. These statements involve material risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to materially differ from those anticipated. Additional information regarding these risks and uncertainties appears in the section entitled Forward-Looking Statements in the press release finally issued today. For a more complete list and description, please see the Risk Factors section of the company's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, and in its other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Except as required by law, 908 disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any financial projections or forward-looking statements, whether because of new information, future events, or otherwise. This conference call contains time-sensitive information and is accurate only as of the live broadcast, November 4, 2021. With that, I would like to turn the call over to Kevin.

Kevin Knopp -- Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder

Thanks, Kelly. Good morning, and thank you for joining our third quarter 2021 earnings call. We are continuing to make excellent progress broadening our global presence, strengthening our relationships, and expanding our offering to deliver even more value to our customers. We ended the third quarter with $12.5 million in total revenue, up 52% from the second quarter of 2021, and up 107% year over year.

I'm pleased with our performance, which was in line with our expectations that our revenue would step up in the back half of the year as we continue to ramp our commercial efforts and benefit from seasonal year-end budget cycles. We placed more than 180 devices during the quarter, bringing our install base to over 1,700 devices across our three products. We have made meaningful progress scaling our commercial team, demonstrating traction within our growing customer base, and highlighting the needs for our technology within our core forensics, research, and biopharma applications. As we think about our growth, we remain focused on expanding the install base, driving utilization, and investing in our technology platform.

Starting with our sales channels and commercial organization, we ended the third quarter with 57 employees across sales, marketing, and product management. I'm excited by the talent we continue to bring to the 908 team, and we are well on our way to reaching our goal of 60 commercial employees by the end of Q1 2022. We are ramping our efforts in engaging existing new and prospective customers on the value of our technologies. To that end, in September, we hosted our first integrated user meeting, Critical Mass 2021, which covered the full breadth of our product platforms and their applications.

This event brought more than 150 attendees together, both virtually and in person, to hear our customers share their success using our handheld and desktop devices to democratize access to mass spectrometry. These customers' talk span the breadth of our customer base from pharma with Amgen, Merck, AstraZeneca, and Sartorius, to top research institutions with Johns Hopkins University and Dana Farber Cancer Institute, to government agencies with the USDA, Main Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Quincy Police Department. Tony Zook, the executive director of product integrity at Merck, was a keynote speaker for the event and discussed the critical role forensic testing plays in criminal enforcement against counterfeit drugs. It was inspiring to hear the impact our technology is having across a range of topics, from bioprocess monitoring to identification of counterfeit pharmaceuticals to high-throughput drug discovery.

And perhaps even most importantly, the event gave our customers the opportunity to engage in discussions together, not only to share their experiences but also to increase awareness and educate each other on the value of our technology across these different applications areas. As we ramp our commercial efforts, we are seeing growing customer traction. Across our product portfolio, we focus on leveraging our customer success in testing, trial, and pilots into enterprisewide standardization for both devices and consumables. With our handhelds, we continue to gain traction with leading government enterprise accounts for using MX908 for trace detection identification of narcotics and other chemical hazards.

For example, the Department of Homeland Security purchased additional MX908 devices to combat the flow of illicit drugs, including opioids, from entering our borders. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration also added MX908 devices for their Clandestine Drug Lab Enforcement Teams. In addition to growing our existing enterprise accounts, we are continuing to build a pipeline of pilot programs that have the potential to involve into valuable enterprise accounts.

In October, Ohio Attorney General David Yost announced a pilot program for police departments in three cities where law enforcement officers will use our MX908 handheld devices for rapid mobile drug testing. In the press conference, A.G. Yost noted that the MX908 is literally a crime lab in your hands. We currently have over 20 MX908 in use in the state of Ohio, and the Ohio attorney general has expressed desire for every police department in the state to eventually have an MX908 device.

We are proud of the value that MX908 is bringing these law enforcement programs and the communities they serve and are committed to bringing similar value to additional agencies across the United States. Unfortunately, overdosed deaths, involving lethal drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamine, are on the rise. At the end of September, the Drug Enforcement Administration issued a public safety alert warning Americans on the sharp increase in fake prescription pills containing fentanyl and methamphetamine. This was the first advisory the DEA has issued in six years.

According to the advisory, the number of DEA-seized counterfeit pills with fentanyl has jumped a staggering amount by nearly 430% since 2019. Today, two out of every five pills with fentanyl contain a potential lethal dose. And according to a recent study by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, overdose death in the U.S. involving methamphetamine nearly tripled from 2015 to 2019 among people aged 18 to 64.

Even a small amount of these drugs can be lethal. Our MX908 handheld device detects trace levels of a full panel of drugs in seconds, minimizing exposure for first responders and enabling personnel to immediately act. Our handhelds are a game-changer for the opioid crisis with the ability to detect and identify trace an ounce of drugs. I would like to take a minute to share a few examples of recent customer successes using our handheld devices that underscore the growing need for this technology.

At Mexico International's Airport, customs personnel recently used the MX908 to detect pounds of hidden cocaine wrapped in two vests enabling officials to immediately seize the drugs. Lab tests later confirm the accuracy of the MX908 analysis. In another instance, thorough examination of stolen vehicle, technicians from the Canadian Decontamination Solutions observed a white powder in the glove compartment box. Suspecting an airborne hazard, the team used the newly released Aero module for the MX908 to confirm the presence of airborne fentanyl, which is highly toxic.

The MX provided critical information to keep technicians safe over the course of the vehicle inspection. Our handheld devices provide analysis for applications across chemical and narcotic detection. We are demonstrating solid traction with customers rely on our technology to combat critical to life problems with easily interpretable, actionable results in second. Turning now to our desktops, today, we are focused on placing our devices with top pharma companies, where there's ample room to increase adoption within a single customer account.

We saw strong traction during the quarter with new placements increasing by more than 40% compared to the same period last year. This growth was primarily driven by traction in our core biopharma segment with new desktop customers, including Gilead Sciences, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Janssen Pharmaceuticals. We have placed devices with 19 of the top 20 pharma companies. Our REBEL product offers critical value to customers, providing process insights and new lens into the bioprocess workflow that allows for real-time process optimization.

Recently, at the Bioprocessing Summit in Boston, an Alexion Pharmaceutical Scientists presented results where our desktop device was used to mitigate amino acid miss incorporation and optimize feeding strategies for production bioreactor to rapidly achieve the desired critical quality attributes also known as CQAs. We've previously shared our plan to create a bioanalytics platform that leverages our versatile technologies from biotherapeutic development through production. The need for such a platform is validated by FDA's widely publicized quality by design initiative, which stresses the importance of understanding, monitoring, and controlling of process parameters to ensure finished biopharmaceuticals products meet proper CQAs. The pharmaceutical industry also broadly recognized that enhanced process understanding and control leads to improved yield and predictability, particularly important with newer therapeutic modalities.

Our devices are directly positioned to serve these needs. And finally, moving to innovation related to our products and technology platform, we are working to expand the capabilities of our existing products, as well as expand the reach of our technology platform. For our handhelds, we released a software update to our field base of MX908 that adds nine new analyte targets for a total of 19 new targets added so far this year. These new analyte targets are mainly synthetic drug compounds, such as cannabinoids, cathinones, and opioids.

This builds, on the already significant capability of the MX908, ensuring the latest technologies in the hands of safety and health responders across the globe. For our ZipChip, we recently launched an Oligonucleotide analysis kit. Oligos represented the state class of therapeutics that include RNA, DNA, and their structural analogs and are effective against a wide range of disease conditions. Traditional workflows for Oligo analysis are lengthy, often requiring the use of extensive liquid chromatography method development, along with harsh iron pairing the agents.

Our ZipChip device, coupled with the mass spectrometer, provides an easy method for simple and fast analysis of Oligos with minimal sample prep and no need for iron pairing reagents. At the American Society for Mass Spectrometry Meeting, or ASMS, we presented a talk in conjunction with Amgen that demonstrated the use of our ZipChip kit on proprietary Amgen Oligos resulting in decreased analysis time and sample requirements without the use of ion-pairing agents. We are excited to provide our users with a simple, rapid, and cost-effective solution for Oligo analysis, enabling them to accelerate their drug development workflow. We are continuing to unlock our platform's capabilities to increase the areas of use for our customers and open up our addressable markets.

For our desktops, we are also continuing our effort to expand downstream into late-stage development and finished product quality domain. In May of this year, we announced a joint collaboration with Bio-Techne to develop an extended CQA workflow solution for protein characterization. The pairing of Bio-Techne cIEF systems in ZipChip allows for in-depth characterization of biotherapeutics on an intact and near-native level with a vastly simplified and time-saving workflow. As an update, in September, we presented with Bio-Techne at the CASSS Mass Spec Conference to demonstrate this workflow solution.

This need for rapid high-resolution identification and speciation of intact proteoforms was also highlighted by Boehringer-Ingelheim at the subsequent Cafepharma conference where they spoke to the rapid characterization of a bispecific antibody using our ZipChip device and noted the quality of the separations and ease of setup. We are encouraged by this work and our demonstration to the community. While we are largely focused on bioanalytics as the primary application for our desktops, there is a breadth of opportunity for our products and technologies beyond bioanalytics, including in proteomics and metabolomics. Just this week, at ASMS, there are a number of presentations on the application of our products and technologies.

Presentations were from our own scientists, as well as researchers from Amgen, Ligand Pharmaceuticals, and Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Three of these presentations were in the areas of proteomics and metabolomics. First, we presented clinical metabolomic studies that compared our ZipChip hardware and associated 908 devices automated metabolite identification algorithms to legacy technology. The ZipChip approach demonstrated tremendous speed advantages with much higher rates of metabolite IDs and few fall segments.

And as we have shared, we're developing new microfluidic chips for our platform for proteomic applications. Two presentations at ASMS highlighted the increased sensitivity and speed of these prototype chips. Our own scientists presented a poster that demonstrated a greater than tenfold improvement sensitivity for proteomics applications when integrating solid-phase extraction or SPE onto the chip. Integrated SPE allows us to capture and measure low abundance proteins.

Scientists at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute evaluated the use of prototype chip to reform proteamic analysis on ubiquitating enzymes compared with traditional chromatography methods. They found significant time savings when using prototype chips, 20 minutes versus 90 minutes with traditional chromatography methods. This type of time savings can be especially important when working with large sample sets. These presentations highlight the breadth of our technology platform and our commitment to increase our platform's capabilities to broaden the areas of use for our customers and continue to open up our addressable market.

Overall, I'm encouraged by our growing pipeline of customers and the enthusiasm we're seeing across our end markets for 908 technologies. With that, I will now turn the call over to Joe for more details on our financials.

Joe Griffith -- Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Kevin. Revenue for the third quarter of 2021 was $12.5 million, compared to $8.3 million in the second quarter and $6 million in the prior-year period. Product and service revenue for the third quarter 2021 was $12.3 million, compared to $5.8 million in the prior-year period, representing growth of 111%. The increase was primarily driven by our handheld devices, including initial shipments to the U.S.

Army under the multiyear purchase order. Desktop revenue from our REBEL and ZipChip products grew 70% in the third quarter of 2021 compared to the prior-year period, and more than 50% of the device placements were with new customers. Recurring revenues, consisting of consumables, accessories, and service revenue, grew 134% in the third quarter of 2021 compared to the prior-year period. Service revenue from our extended warranty and service plans from our install base and an increase in consumable revenue related to REBEL kits and initial sales of the Aero module, a new accessory for our handheld were key growth drivers in the third quarter of 2021.

License and contract revenue for the third quarter 2021 was approximately $0.3 million, relatively flat with the prior-year period. Currently, we do not expect license and contract revenues to be a significant contributor of revenue on a go-forward basis. Our install base grew to 1,714 units, with 184 devices shipped during the third quarter. We shipped 164 handheld devices and 20 desktop devices within the quarter.

Gross profit was $6.8 million for the third quarter of 2021, compared to $3.8 million for the prior-year period. The increased gross profit was driven primarily due to the higher MX908 sales volume, which leveraged our fixed costs related to our manufacturing facility, and, to a lesser extent, our desktop devices. Offsetting this increase were investments in operations and service personnel. Gross margin was 54% for the third quarter 2021 as compared to 63% for the prior-year period.

Total operating expenses for the third quarter of 2021 were $12.1 million, compared to $5.1 million in the prior-year period. The increase was driven by headcount expansion across our business, primarily focused on our commercial organization, resulting in $4 million of the increase. The increase was also related to marketing activities and travel, which drove $0.8 million of the increase, as well as increased expenses related to operating as a public company. Net loss for the third quarter of 2021 was $5.2 million, compared to $1.7 million in the prior-year period.

We ended the third quarter of 2021 with approximately $139 million in cash and cash equivalents. In addition, we had $15 million of debt outstanding. Turning to our outlook for 2021. We expect revenue to be in the range of $41 million to $43 million, representing growth of 56% at the midpoint over the prior-year period.

This compares to our previously expected revenue range of $40 million to $43 million. Regarding supply chain and market dynamics, we have taken a proactive stance and increased our inventory levels as quoted lead times have grown. Over the course of the third quarter, this environment has worsened, and we continue to stay close to the situation and its potential risks. Importantly, we design and build our products in-house and are able to qualify alternative vendors providing us a good degree of flexibility and protection.

At this point, I would like to turn the call back to Kevin for closing comments.

Kevin Knopp -- Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder

Thanks, Joe. It's been an exciting year for us thus far at 908 devices as we continue to expand our installed base, deepen our customer relationships, and broaden the capabilities of our platform to deliver more value to our customers. I'm encouraged by our progress and growing enthusiasm we are seeing across our end market. We look forward to updating you on our progress.

With that, we will now open it up for questions.

Questions & Answers:


Operator

[Operator instructions] Our first question comes from the line of Puneet Souda with SVB Leerink. Your line is open.

Puneet Souda -- SVB Leerink -- Analyst

Hey, Kevin. Thanks for taking the question. First one, it's really good to see the momentum in MX908. But trying to understand in terms of broad awareness of the platform, it continues to grow.

But at what point do you think we'll get to a recognition across the board that most forensics and security departments in the states and agencies opt to purchase an MX908. Sort of give us a sense of that sort of inflection point. And if you could also clarify the instrumentation REBEL versus MX908 placements versus ZipChip? Thank you.

Kevin Knopp -- Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder

Sure. Hi, Puneet. Happy to. Yeah, I think we're happy with the growth that we have been achieving year to date, and it is about getting momentum with those placements, and there is an education effect there that some of which 908 can do.

And as you know, we've been building out our sales and marketing team to address that, and particularly on the marketing front, we've really been amplifying our ability to get the messages out there. But then, importantly, we're also seeing more and more customers speaking about the technology and the successes. We shared some in the past with various entities. In this call, we shared with the Ohio Attorney General, talking about our technology set, and the plethora of talks that we're having across both the forensics and, of course, in the desktop life sciences area.

So, it continues to build, and we're happy with that progress. And it's a lot of work. But I think we're showing the value that we're bringing.

Joe Griffith -- Chief Financial Officer

And, Puneet, maybe on the placement side, the 184 devices shipped within the quarter breaks down, we had 164 MX908, and then the 20 desktop, that was 13 REBEL and seven on ZipChip.

Puneet Souda -- SVB Leerink -- Analyst

OK. Got it. That's super helpful. And in terms of commercial priorities, obviously, hiring was ramped up, obviously, not an easy environment to hire folks right now.

Just if you could provide us what you're seeing in terms of early traction? It seems that REBEL is just coming off of an early base. So, I just wanted to get a sense of how this -- the addition of new sales reps and the commercial team, when could we see more meaningful traction on the REBEL side with the commercial team in place now and as well as expanding.

Kevin Knopp -- Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder

We have invested, as you highlighted, pretty heavily in the commercial channel, now REBEL being a key focus area to expand our reach with folks with feet on the street. We have seen attractive growth within our desktops, REBEL leading the way. It grew 76% year to date compared to prior year. Our desktop placements grew greater than 40% within the quarter, 60% year to date.

And so we're starting to see some of that traction. And we think there's momentum across our channels. We expect to accelerate placements in Q4 with the year-end pharma push and budget cycles. So pleased with the progress and expect it to continue to pick up based upon customers, both new and existing, adopting the technology.

Puneet Souda -- SVB Leerink -- Analyst

OK. Great. And then last one if I could squeeze in, Kevin. In terms of REBEL, could you talk about the use case of REBEL, and how REBEL is positioning in the PD labs, and how that workflow is in the PD lab? Just trying to understand how this instrument fits in versus a more comprehensive and somewhat closer to a traditional benchtop mass spec in the same setting.

Asking this because we recently saw one of your larger peers highlighted partnership to use a much larger LC and mass spec in PD labs with Ambr bioreactors for process development. So how is that different than what REBEL is doing in those labs? Thank you.

Kevin Knopp -- Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder

Yeah, sure. Absolutely. I mean, first, any competition in this area when we're talking about something new like this, it takes a lot of work to educate a prospective customer on the bands in it, and having multiple companies out there doing so it certainly makes our jobs easier. But second, we're really focused on delivering customers a simple use desktop device that just plugs into a standard wall outlet network jack, and that's it.

It could be on a movable cart if they like, it really doesn't take special infrastructure requirements. There's no power, compressed gas, plumbing, large bottles of solvent waste, no replacing LC columns. It doesn't even require a computer. It just has a touch screen to operate.

So, REBEL is really built from the ground up to put bioprocess answers in the hands of the bioprocess development group. As you know, we're using this really differentiated, innovative approach with electronically driven separations with our microplate chip and then the microscale mass spec. And importantly, adding on the machine learning algorithms to achieve it. So, we really designed it to sit next to other routine analyzers in these labs, and that's more like next to the simple cell vitality or tighter boxes, of which there are many, many in given PD lab.

And certainly, yes, there has been many efforts, current and in the past, and over years, maybe even a decade to simplify traditional LC/MS product offering, but they are still largely sitting in core labs and most recent offerings more targeting the late-stage development analytical labs, but those are analytical labs, which are still pennied by people that are trained to cope with that type of instrument, the maintenance sample collect the [Inaudible] and to look at the data, right, look at those squiggly lines and make interpretations. Another such product was announced this week, in fact, in late-stage development. And I'm sure they're all great products. But if you really dig into the details, it's a very, very different level of operational complexity that's part of it.

So, if you look at our price point, device size, even the difference in the timing and even the amount of sample that's required for a REBEL, and just the overall end-to-end simplicity, we really think it's a pretty compelling offering there.

Puneet Souda -- SVB Leerink -- Analyst

That's great, super helpful. Thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from Max Masucci with Cowen Company. Your line is open.

Max Masucci -- Cowen and Company -- Analyst

Hi. Thanks for taking the questions. So, the implied Q4 guide came in above expectations, great to see. Can you just give us a sense for where the upside is coming from? Is it more in the instrument placement side? Or is it rising consumables utilization? And then just would love to know if the implied Q4 guide has any assumptions or material assumptions related to placements to the Army?

Kevin Knopp -- Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder

Well, Max, yes, with two months to go, we maintained our range in our guidance and enable some upside beyond the midpoint as we potentially have additional devices or step up in recurring with year-end. We feel that that revenue growth of 56% at the midpoint of our guidance is attractive and requires that we're successful related to our initiatives. As far as COVID and expectations around that, we've been pretty resilient. We've seen more second-order effects, so really focused on delivering on the opportunity and don't see any specific impacts, but we have maintained a $2 million range to accommodate potentially a piece of that.

Max Masucci -- Cowen and Company -- Analyst

Great, great. And then great to see the friends at work at the border, and in the comment about serving as a portable crime lab at the state, city level. How should we think about the opportunity for forensics-related placements? And how quickly adoption could ramp just given the word of mouth and network effect, marketing, you're benefiting from some recent updates?

Kevin Knopp -- Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder

Yeah. I mean, we are excited about those placements. We're excited when customers are making such comments publicly that under their own volition and they're just out talking to the communities around the benefits they're providing of the -- through the adoption. You're right, it is a word of mouth getting momentum.

It is still a cycle that you have to work with customers, make sure they're budgeting. It is a piece of capital equipment. So, we're very much encouraged by it. But it's step-by-step process.

Joe Griffith -- Chief Financial Officer

Maybe to add to that, Max, touching on the U.S. Army, which you were asking about, with competitive dynamics and customer sensitivities. We haven't disclosed exactly how much of revenue here in 2021, but we did have our first shipments here in Q3 and anticipate additional product shipments in the fourth quarter to the U.S. Army.

And at this time, we do expect the majority of the devices to be shipped over the course of 2022 related to that multiyear purchase order.

Max Masucci -- Cowen and Company -- Analyst

Great. If I could sneak in one more for Joe. You're making some investments in manufacturing and service personnel to position yourself for expanding gross margins. I'd imagine some spending to just position yourself to address any supply chain or manufacturing headwinds that exist in the market.

Just curious, if you look at these investments alongside rising consumables, how does that impact your outlook in terms of when you jump-start that next phase of gross margin expansion?

Joe Griffith -- Chief Financial Officer

No. There are some of those market factors that you just highlighted, and we're proactively investing in service and supply chain challenges have tempered expectations on gross margins, but we'll look, moving forward, at price increases to help mitigate as we turn the corner into 2022. But we're in the mid-50s from a gross margin today and expect that to kind of be maintained on a go-forward basis. Year to date, product, and service gross margins were 53%.

We did 54% within the quarter. So, we are looking to balance and make the right investments so that we can get ahead of any supply chain concern and, hopefully, mitigate material price increases as we move into the new year.

Max Masucci -- Cowen and Company -- Analyst

Great. Thanks for taking the questions, and nice update.

Operator

And your next question comes from Dan Arias with Stifel. Your line is open.

Dan Arias -- Stifel Financial Corp. -- Analyst

Good morning, guys. Thank you. Kevin, on the 50% of orders that went to new customers, how does that break down broadly in terms of cell and gene therapy makers versus more traditional mAb focused companies? And then on that split, are you starting to see a difference in terms of the revenue generation that comes out of those two types of projects? I know the thought at 1 point was that cell and gene workflow complexity can kind of drive a higher level of pull-through from that piece. So, I'm just curious whether you still feel like that's a mix element that's in play here?

Kevin Knopp -- Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder

Yes. Thanks, Ken. That's a good question. Yeah, I mean, with our placements over the quarter and really year, we have been seeing, of course, placements in cell and gene, but also a lot in the protein therapy space.

So, I think we remain excited about both. In terms of being able to dissect on which one is creating the largest pull-through at this time, I think it's really an early innings situation that we have because we're really working with customers to, given those initial workflows, prove out the value of the technology and the need for frequent measurement of it. And we're seeing that lead on both the more standard mAb therapeutics but on gene therapy area. As you know, we had some publications we talked about last quarter from BMS in that area.

But then also, this quarter, as we mentioned in the script, folks like Alexion really kind of showcasing how they're mitigating amino acid misincorporation by more frequent measurements and that was of a traditional map. So, we're seeing value added to both. And I think it's early innings to tell to confirm which segment or some segments is driving the highest pull through.

Dan Arias -- Stifel Financial Corp. -- Analyst

Yes. OK. That makes sense. And then maybe just to your point on the design of the REBEL being something that can kind of sit next to the bioreactor on its own.

When it comes to taking the next step and making this an online, in-line capable device in order to push into GMP production, I'm just curious how critical it is to be working with the bioreactor company ahead of time on direct integration? I mean, is that a process that needs some collaborative R&D work along the way? Or do you think you can sort of do you think, present a product and have it be aligned and optimized fairly quickly once it's done without the tank maker having too much input there?

Kevin Knopp -- Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder

Yeah, yeah. That's also a good question. I think it is more of the latter. Certainly, we're friendly with groups like Sartorius, we announced already software and data integration with them.

But in a lot of ways, these are pretty standardized, particularly as you think about the single reactors that are very prevalent across these process development labs where they're a stand-alone reactor that -- and there's rows and rows of them. You have the Ambr's and other integrated are important. But yes, there -- I don't think there's too much secret sauce or a requirement to be too tightly connected there. But, yes, we're excited for that.

One thing I'd also point out that sometimes gets overlooked with our technology set, but because we're using this microfluidics compared to traditional LC/MS approaches, we use a very minute amount of sample. And it's often about 100x less sample, which is important as you think about the future, is important as you think about online and increasing the sampling frequency so you're not consuming all the precious sample that's being created.

Dan Arias -- Stifel Financial Corp. -- Analyst

OK. Sorry, just took a third in, but one last quick one. Do you think in 2022, we start to see evidence of progressing toward that next-gen device?

Kevin Knopp -- Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder

We're certainly working on it. As we've said in the past, it's probably a two- to three-year effort before we have that. We are looking to see if there are ways to pull that in or have interim solutions on it. But I think there's a lot of runway with our at-line device.

Yes, it requires a manual pipe heading step to be placed into our device, but I think there's a lot of runway of opportunity there.

Dan Arias -- Stifel Financial Corp. -- Analyst

Appreciate that. Thank you.

Operator

[Operator instructions] At this time, there are no further questions on queue. I'll hand the call back to Kevin.

Kevin Knopp -- Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder

Yes. Thank you all. Thank you all for your time this morning. Have a great day.

Operator

[Operator signoff]

Duration: 38 minutes

Call participants:

Kelly Gura -- Investor Relations

Kevin Knopp -- Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder

Joe Griffith -- Chief Financial Officer

Puneet Souda -- SVB Leerink -- Analyst

Max Masucci -- Cowen and Company -- Analyst

Dan Arias -- Stifel Financial Corp. -- Analyst

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