Genomic Health (NASDAQ:GHDX) is scheduled to release second-quarter earnings after the bell on Tuesday. Here are three things investors should be paying attention to as the cancer-test company announces its numbers.
AUA and ASCO boost?
Since Genomic Health reported first-quarter earnings in May, the company has presented data at the annual meetings of the American Urological Association, or UAU, and American Society of Clinical Oncology, or ASCO. The ASCO presentations mostly focused on the company's ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS, test, although there was also a presentation showing that analyzing the expression of multiple genes in prostate cancer is important in determining a patient's risk.
The presentations at UAU showed how Genomic Health's prostate cancer test can improve risk assessment and lower costs for prostate cancer patients. Another study, run by independent investigators, showed that combining the test with an MRI could help better predict the aggressiveness of early-stage prostate cancer than either of the tests alone.
In addition to the doctor conferences, there have been quite a few articles in peer-reviewed journals recently. One in Urology Practice showed that Genomic Health's prostate cancer test can help patients in the watchful-waiting stage of prostate cancer. And a pair of publications in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment and the Journal of Surgical Oncology supported the usefulness of Genomic Health's DCIS test.
On Tuesday, we'll find out if any of this new data has increased doctors' use of Genomic Health's tests. The volume of tests performed in the first quarter increased 10% year over year. To hit that level of year-over-year growth in the second quarter, Genomic Health needs to perform about 26,450 tests, which would be a little more than 1,000 tests more than it performed in the first quarter.
Prostate cancer test reimbursement
It doesn't matter how many tests the company performs if it isn't being reimbursed for them. Genomic Health has made it clear that its goal to be profitable in the fourth quarter is dependent on the company gaining Medicare reimbursement for its prostate cancer test.
In May, Genomic Health said that Palmetto, a Medicare Administrative Contractor, had issued draft local coverage determination, recommending coverage of the Oncotype DX prostate cancer test. The decision still has to go through Medicare's review process, which includes a public comment period that ended on July 24, before it can be finalized.
Any update management can give on how the reimbursement process is going with Medicare, as well as private insurers, will help investors determine how realistic it is for the company to meet its goal.
While profitability through selling its current products is clearly a near-term goal for Genomic Health, long-term investors should be focused on the company's move into liquid biopsy, which should drive sales down the line.
Last month, the company presented proof of concept data at the American Association for Cancer Research Precision Medicine Meeting that showed its urine test can detect the recurrence of bladder cancer with comparable accuracy to cystoscopy, which requires sticking a camera into bladder.
Investors should be listening to management's guidance on potential launch times for new blood or urine liquid biopsy tests that can detect the presence of tumor cells.