Bay Area's Avinger Axes Jobs, Q3 Sales Down 61%


Beleaguered Avinger, Inc. is slashing more jobs. In its latest financial disclosure, Avinger reported a 61 percent decline in sales since the same time last year and would continue its strategic reorganization to save cash.

The company said headcount has been reduced to 73 employees as of Oct. 15. That number includes 20 members of its sales team, the company said. In April, the company slashed one-third of its workforce, about 130 employees, and announced its organizational realignment. When it announced those cuts in April, Avinger, a medical device company which develops treatments for peripheral artery disease, said it was reducing its sales force by about 50 percent.

Not only has Avinger seen its business drop 61 percent since this time last year, the company said in its most recent quarter revenue declined by 16 percent from the second quarter. Total revenue for the third quarter of this year was $2.1 million. Operating expenses for the third quarter of 2017 were $7.7 million, the company said.

Despite the bleak financial report, Avinger Chief Executive Officer Jeff Soinski was looking at some positives, including a $15 million stock purchase agreement with Chicago-based Lincoln Park Capital Fund. The company also received European marketing approval for its in-stent restenosis (ISR) treatment indication for Pantheris image-guided atherectomy system. Atherectomy is a minimally invasive treatment for PAD in which a catheter-based device is used to remove plaque from a blood vessel.

Avinger said it would continue to strictly manage its cash flow. It said it reduced cash utilization to $7 million, down from $9.1 million in the second quarter of 2017. Avinger reported a cash balance of $10.2 million.

“With our streamlined commercial organization focused on driving utilization and clinical success, incremental current product improvement, and enrollment in our INSIGHT trial now underway, we continue to look forward to the introduction of new products and expansion of indications in 2018,” Soinski said in a statement. “We believe our equity purchase agreement with Lincoln Park Capital, combined with our continued progress in expense management, will put us in a stronger position to achieve our goals as we enter 2018.”

In October, the company announced it received 510(k) clearance for a series of design improvements incorporated into the current version of Pantheris. The modifications were designed to enhance cutting efficiency, increase product reliability, and improve overall ease of use of the Pantheris system, the company said.

Since the announcement, shares of Avinger have been down more than 2 percent this morning. The stock was trading at 26 cents per share as of 11:50 a.m.

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