(Sharecast News) - Cell engineering specialist MaxCyte revised its full-year guidance downwards on Thursday based on its preliminary third-quarter revenue.
The AIM-traded company recorded total revenue between $7.8m and $8m for the period, representing a decline of 25% to 27% compared to the third quarter of 2022.
It attributed the downturn to a sustained reduction in customer activity within the sector.
A sharper decline was seen in core business revenue, with figures falling between $6.4m and $6.6m, decreasing 33% to 35% year-on-year.
There was a silver lining in the form of strategic partnership licence (SPL) programme-related revenue, which grew to $1.4m from $0.8m a year earlier/
In light of those figures, MaxCyte modified its full-year revenue guidance for 2023 and now anticipated total revenue between $34m and $36m, with core revenue projected to be $28m to $30m.
SPL programme-related revenue expectations remained stable at around $6m, aligning with previous predictions.
"Given the ongoing volatility in customer activity in the life science tools sector, and after reviewing third quarter preliminary revenue, we are providing shareholders with an update on our expected full year revenue performance," said president and chief executive officer Doug Doerfler.
"We have updated our total revenue and core revenue guidance for 2023 to reflect a more challenging operating environment, which we expect to persist at least through the remainder of the year.
"Processing assembly purchases in both cell therapy and drug discovery are not materialising as expected."
Doerfler said the company continued to see hesitancy in cell therapy instrument purchases by early-stage customers.
"We believe this customer activity is primarily the result of a depressed funding environment in the cell and gene therapy sector and in the broader biotech industry, as well as customers' higher levels of processing assembly inventory remaining from previous year purchases.
"Customers also continue to reprioritise their spending, which has resulted in an overall elongation or pause of certain preclinical and early clinical activity.
"While we are disappointed with our 2023 revenues thus far, we remain optimistic about MaxCyte's long-term prospects, business model and ability to deliver shareholder value as the cell therapy industry grows and we continue to execute on our strategy."
MaxCyte was prudently managing its costs amid a challenging environment, Doug Doerfler confirmed, adding that it still expected to end the year with $200m in cash, which would be unchanged from its initial outlook at the start of the year.
"Our robust and expanding partnership portfolio, with 23 SPL agreements now in place, highlights MaxCyte's premier cell engineering technology and expertise and supports the significant role we play in enabling a growing set of next-generation cell therapies.
"We note that a number of our customers are reaching important clinical and regulatory milestones with the support of our technology."
At 1219 BST, shares in MaxCyte were down 15.37% at 209.45p.
Reporting by Josh White for Sharecast.com.