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Patent payment boosts Caprius results

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MRI firm Caprius posted a sharply lower net loss for its first quarter (end-December) this year than last, thanks in part to a $1.1 million payment to settle MRI patent litigation. The Wilmington, MA, company is still low on cash, however, and must find

MRI firm Caprius posted a sharply lower net loss for its first quarter (end-December) this year than last, thanks in part to a $1.1 million payment to settle MRI patent litigation. The Wilmington, MA, company is still low on cash, however, and must find a buyer for its Aurora MR mammography program in order to continue operations.

For the quarter, Caprius posted revenues from patient services of $1.1 million, compared with $842,000 in the same period a year ago. The company did not record any Aurora sales in the quarter. In fact, the firm lacks cash to manufacture more Aurora units or conduct further R&D, according to the vendor’s Securities and Exchange Commission 10-Q filing.

Caprius reported a net loss for the quarter of $199,000, down sharply from the $8.7 million loss reported in the first quarter of 1998. Much of the loss for the prior quarter was due to a $7.2 million charge for purchased R&D related to the 1997 merger between the companies that formed Caprius, Advanced NMR and Advanced Mammography Systems. In the most recent quarter, Caprius netted $1.1 million to settle payment claims related to Aurora from an unnamed MRI manufacturer.

Despite the lower net loss, Caprius will remain in dire straits if it doesn’t find a buyer for the Aurora program. A proposed deal with venture capital firm Mi3 fell through in December (SCAN 1/13/99) and since then Caprius has been looking for other potential partners. Caprius had $1.5 million in cash as of Dec. 31, but the company’s situation has prompted its auditor to issue a going concern statement, casting doubt on its future viability if Aurora isn’t divested.

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