Champions Oncology, Inc. (CSBR) experiences challenging Q3 results

March 14, 2024 | by


Champions Oncology, Inc. (CSBR) faced a challenging third quarter, as the company experienced less than desirable results. The difficulties began in October 2022 as the economic environment within the biotech sector took a negative turn. This led to customers reducing their research and development budgets, resulting in fewer studies being ordered and an increase in cancellations, leading to longer sales cycles. In addition, the company faced operational issues that further hindered revenue conversion. However, Champions Oncology has made progress in addressing these challenges. The company has seen a reduction in cancellations and their business development strategy is showing promise, which will contribute to strong bookings. They are also taking steps to right-size their operational teams and reduce costs to align with current market conditions. Despite the challenging quarter, Champions Oncology anticipates a return to growth and profitability in the upcoming quarters, as they see an uptick in clinical bookings, an expansion of their ex vivo offering, and progress in their lead discovery programs at Corellia. They are actively engaged with investors to raise capital and are exploring potential licensing opportunities. With $4.5 million in cash and no debt, the company is well-positioned to make a gradual improvement in operational results, revenue growth, and profitability moving forward.

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Challenges in Q3

Economic environment turned negative

Champions Oncology, Inc. (CSBR) faced significant challenges in the third quarter of the year, as the economic environment in the biotech sector took a negative turn. This sudden shift in the economic landscape had a direct impact on the company’s operations and financial performance.

Reduction in R&D budgets

As a result of the unfavorable economic conditions, customers in the biotech sector were compelled to reduce their research and development (R&D) budgets. This reduction in funding translated to fewer studies being ordered by clients, posing a significant challenge for Champions Oncology.

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Fewer studies ordered

The decrease in R&D budgets had a direct effect on the number of studies ordered by customers. With limited financial resources, clients had to be selective in their research endeavors, which ultimately led to a decrease in the demand for Champions Oncology’s services.

Increasing cancellations

In addition to reduced study orders, the company also faced challenges related to increasing cancellations. The economic downturn and budget constraints compelled some clients to cancel or postpone their studies, further impacting Champions Oncology’s revenue stream and overall business performance.

Longer sales cycles

The negative economic environment and reduced R&D budgets contributed to longer sales cycles for Champions Oncology. With clients being more cautious and diligent in their decision-making process, the time it took to close deals and secure contracts increased, presenting a hurdle for the company’s sales teams.

Smaller study sizes

Another challenge faced by Champions Oncology in Q3 was the provision of smaller study sizes. As clients tightened their budgets, they opted for smaller-scale projects, which impacted the company’s revenue potential. The decrease in study sizes had to be carefully managed to ensure optimal use of resources and maintain quality standards.

Operational issues

In addition to the external challenges, Champions Oncology also experienced operational issues that added to the difficulties faced in Q3. These challenges could have included issues within the company’s internal processes, logistics, or other operational aspects that hindered the smooth operation and revenue conversion.

Progress in Reversing Trends

Cancellations back to historical levels

Despite the challenges faced in Q3, Champions Oncology has made progress in reversing the negative trends. The company is pleased to report that cancellations have receded back to historical levels, indicating a positive shift in the business environment and customer commitment.


Business development strategy taking hold

Champions Oncology’s business development strategy is also showing promising signs of taking hold. This strategy involves proactive efforts to expand the company’s customer base, strengthen relationships with existing clients, and identify new revenue streams. The success of these initiatives is expected to contribute to strong bookings and revenue growth in the coming quarters.

Strong bookings expected

As part of the reversal of the Q3 challenges, Champions Oncology anticipates strong bookings in the future. The company’s efforts in business development, combined with the stabilization of the economic environment, is projected to result in a more positive outlook for study orders and overall revenue generation.

Right-sizing operational teams

To align with the current market conditions and revenue levels, Champions Oncology is implementing measures to right-size its operational teams. This entails optimizing the workforce and resources to match the organization’s current needs and goals efficiently. Such adjustments enable the company to operate more cost-effectively and improve its overall financial performance.

Cost reduction

In line with the right-sizing of operational teams, cost reduction has been a key focus for Champions Oncology. The company is targeting areas where expenses can be minimized without compromising on quality or service delivery. Implementing cost reduction measures helps to improve profitability and strengthen the financial position of the organization.

Anticipation of return to revenue growth and profitability

With the progress made in reversing the negative trends and addressing the challenges faced in Q3, Champions Oncology is cautiously optimistic about a return to revenue growth and profitability. The company anticipates that the combination of favorable business conditions, strong bookings, right-sized operations, and cost reduction efforts will pave the way to improved financial results in the near future.

Clinical Biomarkers Pipeline

Increase in clinical bookings

Despite the challenges experienced in Q3, Champions Oncology has observed an increase in clinical bookings. This demonstrates a positive uptick in demand for the company’s clinical services and signifies confidence in its capabilities and expertise. The increase in clinical bookings is an encouraging sign for future revenue growth.

Growth of the clinical biomarkers pipeline

Another positive development in the clinical arena for Champions Oncology is the growth of its clinical biomarkers pipeline. A biomarker refers to measurable characteristics that indicate the presence or progression of a disease. The expansion of the clinical biomarkers pipeline signifies the company’s success in developing and identifying valuable markers that have the potential to revolutionize disease diagnosis and treatment.

Positive customer feedback on ex vivo offering

Champions Oncology’s ex vivo offering, which refers to experiments performed on tissues or cells outside of a living organism, has received positive feedback from customers. The company’s expertise in ex vivo testing and analysis has garnered significant recognition from clients, further validating the effectiveness and value of this service offering. The positive customer feedback serves as a testament to Champions Oncology’s commitment to delivering high-quality, impactful solutions to its clients.

Lead Discovery Programs

Progressing well at Corellia

Champions Oncology’s lead discovery programs at Corellia, the company’s research and development arm, are progressing well. The programs focus on identifying and developing novel therapeutic leads, which have the potential to become breakthrough treatments for various diseases. The positive progress at Corellia illustrates the company’s dedication to scientific advancement and its ability to navigate the complex landscape of drug discovery.

Positive outlook

Based on the progress achieved in the lead discovery programs, Champions Oncology has a positive outlook for its future therapeutic pipeline. The promising developments at Corellia indicate that the company is on track to uncover potentially groundbreaking treatments that could address unmet medical needs. This positive outlook fuels the company’s commitment to continued research and development efforts, aiming to make a significant impact on patient care and outcomes.

Capital and Licensing Opportunities

Engaged with investors to raise capital

Recognizing the importance of adequate capital resources, Champions Oncology has actively engaged with investors to raise capital. By seeking additional funding, the company aims to strengthen its financial position and support its strategic initiatives effectively. The engagement with investors demonstrates Champions Oncology’s commitment to securing the necessary resources to drive growth and innovation.

Exploring potential licensing opportunities

In addition to raising capital, Champions Oncology is exploring potential licensing opportunities. Collaboration through licensing agreements provides the company with access to external expertise, technologies, or assets that complement its existing portfolio. Such partnerships can accelerate innovation, expand market reach, and create mutually beneficial relationships with other industry players.

Q3 Financial Results

Revenue decline of 6%

Champions Oncology reported a decline in revenue during Q3, with a decrease of 6% compared to the previous year. The unfavorable economic environment and challenges faced by the company, as discussed earlier, had a direct impact on its revenue generation capabilities. The decline in revenue emphasizes the need for strategic adjustments and the implementation of measures to reverse the downward trend.

Adjusted EBITDA loss of approximately $1.7 million

The Q3 financial results also revealed an adjusted EBITDA loss of approximately $1.7 million. EBITDA stands for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization and is a measure widely used to assess a company’s operating performance. The loss indicates that the company’s operating expenses exceeded its operating income during the quarter.

Dip in gross margin to 35%

Champions Oncology experienced a dip in its gross margin during Q3, with a reduction to 35%. The gross margin is an important indicator of a company’s profitability, representing the percentage of revenue left after deducting the cost of goods sold. The decrease in gross margin highlights the impact of lower top-line revenue and potentially higher costs of sales on the company’s profitability.

Lower top line revenue

The decline in revenue observed in Q3 was primarily responsible for the lower top line revenue reported by Champions Oncology. The challenges faced, such as reduced R&D budgets, fewer studies ordered, and increasing cancellations, directly affected the company’s ability to generate revenue from its core services. Addressing these challenges is crucial to reversing the decline in top-line revenue.

Higher cost of sales

The increase in the cost of sales contributed to the dip in gross margin for Champions Oncology. Factors such as operational inefficiencies, potentially higher production costs, or other cost-related challenges could have driven the higher cost of sales. Implementing measures to improve cost-effectiveness and operational efficiency can help mitigate the impact of higher costs on the company’s financial performance.

Decrease in R&D expense

Despite the challenges faced in Q3, Champions Oncology managed to decrease its research and development (R&D) expenses compared to the previous year. The decrease in R&D expense indicates the company’s efforts to optimize its spending and align with market conditions. However, maintaining an appropriate level of investment in research and development remains crucial for driving innovation and future growth.

Sales and marketing expense and G&A expense mostly flat

Champions Oncology’s sales and marketing expense, as well as general and administrative (G&A) expense, remained relatively flat in Q3. This implies that the company was able to maintain stable spending in these areas despite the challenging economic environment. Careful cost management in sales and marketing and G&A functions contributes to overall financial stability and enables the company to allocate resources strategically.

Ended the quarter with $4.5 million in cash and no debt

As of the end of Q3, Champions Oncology had $4.5 million in cash and no debt. The company’s ability to maintain a healthy cash position demonstrates its financial prudence and resilience in navigating the challenging market conditions. Having a strong cash position provides the necessary liquidity to support ongoing operations, invest in growth opportunities, and weather any unforeseen circumstances.

Anticipated Improvement

Gradual improvement in operational results

Champions Oncology anticipates a gradual improvement in its operational results following the challenges faced in Q3. The progress made in reversing the negative trends, such as receding cancellations and the implementation of cost reduction measures, sets the stage for improved operational performance. The company’s commitment to enhancing operational efficiency and optimizing resources is expected to contribute to the anticipated improvement.

Revenue growth

A key factor in the anticipated improvement for Champions Oncology is the expectation of revenue growth. With cancellations back to historical levels, a business development strategy taking hold, and an increase in clinical bookings, the company envisions a positive trajectory for its revenue generation. The anticipated revenue growth will be driven by a combination of market stabilization, customer confidence, and effective execution of business strategies.

Profitability expected in the next few quarters

Aligning with the anticipated revenue growth, Champions Oncology expects to achieve profitability in the next few quarters. The right-sizing of operational teams, cost reduction measures, and a focus on optimizing profitability are key drivers in this expectation. The company’s commitment to financial discipline and sustainable growth strategies positions it on a path to achieve profitability and deliver long-term value to its stakeholders.

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