BioLife Solutions Announces Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2017 Financial Results

BOTHELL, Wash., March 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- BioLife Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ: BLFS) ("BioLife"), the leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of proprietary clinical grade cell and tissue hypothermic storage and cryopreservation freeze media, today reported financial results and operational highlights for the three and 12 months ended December 31, 2017.

Revenue from biopreservation media product sales for the fourth quarter of 2017 reached a new record of $3.1 million, an increase of 39% compared with the fourth quarter of 2016. This was the 10th consecutive quarter of record revenue. Revenue for the full year 2017 was $11.0 million, an increase of 34% over 2016. Revenue growth was driven by sales of CryoStor® and HypoThermosol® clinical grade biopreservation media products to the high-growth regenerative medicine, drug discovery segments and to BioLife's worldwide distributor network. In 2017, BioLife gained more than 100 new direct customers, with more than half of these in the regenerative medicine market segment.

Mike Rice, BioLife President & CEO, commented, "We successfully executed in key performance areas throughout 2017. We closed the year with record revenue, increased product adoption, positive cash flow from operations and a strengthened balance sheet. We are well positioned for continued growth in 2018 as more of our regenerative medicine customers progress through clinical trials and secure regulatory approvals. I am pleased to report that 2018 is starting off with strong sales growth and we look forward to reporting our Q1 results."

2017 Market Segment & Channel Highlights

Regenerative Medicine (cell therapy, tissue engineering, stem cell transplant)

  • Product revenue: $5.3 million; 48% of total revenue representing a 54% increase over 2016.
  • Key customers: Adaptimmune, ApCeth, Celyad, GamidaCell, HemaCare, Hitachi, IOVANCE, Gilead Kite, Kolon, Lonza and WuXi.
  • Our products are embedded in more than 275 customer clinical applications, including 15 to 20 phase 3 clinical trials. The number of clinical applications employing BioLife storage and freeze media increased by 75 over the year.
  • Gained 61 new direct regenerative medicine customers in 2017.
  • Sole source supplier for two approved cell therapies; YESCARTA™, a Gilead Kite Pharma CAR T cell therapy for certain types of large B cell lymphoma and INVOSSA™, Kolon Life Science's cell mediated gene therapy for knee osteoarthritis.
  • Executed long term agreements to supply CryoStor and/or HypoThermosol to Adaptimmune, Celyad and two confidential customers.

Drug Discovery (pharma, cell suppliers)

  • Product revenue: $1.3 million; 12% of total revenue with 8% growth over 2016.
  • Key customers: AbbVie, Cellular Dynamics, Lifenet Health, Thermo Fisher and Lonza.
  • Key cell types preserved with BioLife products; iPSC cardiomyocytes and hepatocytes.

Biobanking (cord blood banks, tissue banks, hair transplant surgeons)

  • Product revenue: $1.2 million; 11% of total revenue with 10% growth over 2016.
  • Key customers: Cbr, CellCare, Ticeba and ViaCord.
  • Key cell/tissue types preserved with BioLife products; umbilical cord blood and tissue stem cells, adult stem cells and hair follicles.


  • Product revenue: $3.2 million; 29% of total revenue with 30% growth over 2016.
  • Key worldwide distributors: STEMCELL Technologies, Millipore Sigma, Thermo Fisher and VWR.
  • 15 other regional international distributors concentrated in Europe and Asia Pacific.

Fourth Quarter 2017 Financial Results

  • Gross margin for the fourth quarter of 2017 was 59% compared with 61% in the fourth quarter of 2016. The decrease in gross margin was a function of higher than average production in the fourth quarter of 2016, which resulted in lower COGS per liter.
  • Operating expenses for the fourth quarter of 2017 were $2.1 million, a 3% increase from $2.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. Reductions in R&D and sales and marketing expenses were offset by an increase in G&A, primarily attributable to one-time, non-recurring charges.
  • Operating loss for the fourth quarter of 2017 was $218,000, compared with $627,000 in the fourth quarter of 2016.
  • Net loss attributable to common shareholders for the fourth quarter of 2017 was $664,000, or $0.05 per share, compared with a net loss of $3.3 million, or $0.26 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2016.
  • Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter of 2017 was positive $132,000 compared with negative $103,000 for the fourth quarter of 2016.
  • Cash provided by operations for the fourth quarter of 2017 was $803,000, compared with cash used by operations of $668,000 in the prior-year period.

Full Year 2017 Financial Results

  • Gross margin 2017 was 61% compared with 58% for 2016. The increase reflects higher sales volume and higher ASP's in 2017.
  • Operating expenses for the 2017 were $7.8 million, a 19% decrease from $9.6 million for the 2016. The decline was primarily due to restructuring the SAVSU joint venture in late 2016.
  • Operating loss for 2017 was $1.1 million compared with $4.9 million 2016.
  • Net loss attributable to common shareholders for 2017 was $2.7 million, or $0.21 per share, compared with a net loss of $6.9 million, or $0.54 per share for 2016.
  • Adjusted EBITDA for 2017 was positive $444,000 compared with negative $2.6 million for 2016.
  • Positive cash from operations for the full year of 2017 was $605,000, compared with negative cash from operations of $4.3 million for 2016.
  • Ended 2017 debt free by converting a $4.25 million, senior credit facility with WAVI, the Company's largest shareholder, into shares of Series A redeemable preferred stock.
  • Generated $4.0 million in cash from the exercise of outstanding options and warrants, ending 2017 with a cash balance of $6.7 million compared to $1.4 million at the end of 2016.

Roderick de Greef, BioLife Chief Financial Officer, remarked, "Across the board, our 2017 financial results exceeded the guidance we issued in January 2017 and subsequently updated in November 2017. More importantly, we have established a strong foundation for continued revenue growth and gross margin expansion, and expect to achieve GAAP operating profitability for the first time in the Company's history in 2018."

2018 Financial Guidance

Management is reaffirming guidance for 2018 as follows:

  • Biopreservation media revenue is expected to range between $13.6 million and $14.7 million, representing growth of 25% to 35% over 2017 revenue of $11.0 million.
  • Gross margin is expected to be between 62% and 64%, compared with 61% in 2017.
  • To support enhancements to our quality management system, operating expenses are expected to be $9.0 to $9.5 million, compared with $7.8 million in 2017.
  • Full-year GAAP operating profit, with proportional increases in adjusted EBITDA and cash flow from operations.

Conference Call & Webcast

The Company will host a conference call and live webcast at 4:30 p.m. EST this afternoon. To access the live webcast, please go to and click on the top banner, or directly at Alternatively, you may access the live conference call by dialing (844) 825-0512 (U.S. & Canada) or (315) 625-6880 (International) with the following Conference ID: 8488316. A webcast replay will be available approximately two hours after the call and will be archived on for 90 days.


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