This GI biopsy firm's sales surged in Q4 — 5 things to know

Optical biopsy firm Mauna Kea Technologies reported drastic year-over-year sales growth in the fourth quarter of 2018, after transitioning to a pay-per-use business model.

What you should know:

1. Mauna Kea develops Cellvizio, confocal laser endomicroscope technology for early diagnosis of cancer and other conditions. The French developer switched to a pay-per-use business model, eliminating the need for physicians to make an up-front capital equipment purchase.

2. Mauna Kea's primary commercial focus is on gastroenterology biopsy procedures in the U.S., with key applications including screening for signs of precancerous cells in the upper gastrointestinal tract.

3. The developer's total fourth quarter sales were up 37 percent from the same period in 2017. Shipments for the Cellvizio optical biopsy system more than tripled, from 9 units to 28.

4. Mauna Kea shipped 81 units for the full year, up from 43 in 2017. Sales of the consumable probes used in conjunction with Cellvizio increased 9 percent, to 663 units.

5. Revenue increased 17 percent year-over-year. The French developer's yearly sales remained flat compared to 2017.

CEO Robert Gershon said, "Our fourth-quarter sales growth reflects the continued progress we are making in transitioning our business model and focusing our commercial efforts in high-growth procedure categories in the US market."

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