Accelerate Diagnostics, Inc.

Tucson-based Accelerate Diagnostics is ramping up sales of systems to rapidly identify blood-borne pathogens.

Shares in Tucson-based Accelerate Diagnostics slipped on Thursday after the company posted second-quarter revenue that fell short of Wall Street forecasts.

Also on Thursday, the company announced the hiring of Jack Phillips, former president and CEO of Roche Diagnostics, as its chief operating officer.

Accelerate, which is ramping up sales of systems to rapidly identify blood-borne pathogens, posted a second-quarter net loss of $20.8 million, or 38 cents per share, compared with a loss of $23.2 million in the same quarter last year.

The company posted second-quarter net sales revenue of $1.8 million, up from $1.7 million a year ago.

The narrower net loss beat the 40-cent per share loss expected by a consensus of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research, but the revenue results fell about 30% short of analysts’ estimates.

Accelerate shares closed Thursday at $16.62, down 61 cents or about 3.5%, in trading on the Nasdaq Capital Market.

The company’s stock price is up about 40% for the year but is about 30% off its 52-week high of $24.75.

Accelerate CEO Larry Mehren said second quarter revenue and placements of the company’s testing instruments were both lower than anticipated due to lower-than-expected capital sales in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

Year to date, the company added 130 net new commercially contracted instruments, up from 40 in the same period in 2018.

“However, we were encouraged by our commercial progress during the quarter, highlighted by 30% sequential growth in consumable sales and by our signing of the Mayo Clinic as a key reference customer,” Mehren said, adding that the company expects higher instrument placements and revenues for consumables like test kits in the second half of the year.

The company continues to burn through cash, spending $13 million in the second quarter, but it still has total cash and equivalents of about $138 million, the second-quarter results.

Phillips spent more than nine years as head of diagnostics for Swiss drug giant Roche, which acquired Tucson-based Ventana Medical Systems in 2008. Prior to the acquisition, he worked with Ventana for more than a decade and led the company’s growth as senior vice president and general manager for North America.

Mehren and several other Accelerate executives also worked at Ventana, which was founded in 1985 based on technology for an automated tissue slide processing device invented by University of Arizona pathologist Dr. Thomas Grogan.

Contact senior reporter David Wichner at dwichner@tucson.com or 573-4181. On Twitter: @dwichner. On Facebook: Facebook.com/DailyStarBiz

Reporter

David joined the Star in 1997, after working as a consumer and business reporter in Phoenix for more than a decade. A graduate of Ohio University, he has covered most business beats focusing on technology, defense and utilities. He has won several awards.