LipoScience 2Q sales fall, loss widens

Raleigh diagnostics company LipoScience reported Tuesday that its second-quarter sales fell and its net loss widened as the company deals with the fallout from dumping a major customer.

Sales fell 32 percent to $9 million in the three months ending June 30, while net loss grew to $4.1 million from a loss of $2.4 million in the second quarter of 2013.

LipoScience CEO Howard Doran said the company is doing fine, all things considered, because it has cut back on expenses after reducing staff in May, and continues focusing on increasing sales of its diagnostic kits to physicians around the country.

“We are optimistic about our strategy and our ability to execute it, which we expect will generate test volume and revenue growth over time,” Doran said in a statement.

LipoScience went public in 2013 and almost immediately hit a series of obstacles. Earlier this year the company laid off 22 employees and severed a contract with Health Diagnostic Laboratory, after the Richmond-based company put out a product to compete with LipoScience.

The company employs 180 people, including about 120 in Raleigh.

LipoScience makes a diagnostic tool that measures lipoprotein particles in the bloodstream that cause arterial plaque buildup and lead to heart disease. The company says its test is a direct measure of heart disease and therefore superior to the widely-used cholesterol test, which is only an estimate of heart disease risk.

The company’s goal is to expand insurance coverage for the test, called LipoProfile, and to convince more doctors to adopt it.

LipoScience reported Tuesday that the blood test sold 35 percent fewer units in the second quarter, falling to 346,000 from 529,000.

The company’s stock closed at $2.99 Tuesday, down 1 cent a share. Shares are down 30 percent this year.