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Premaitha Health plc (AIM: NIPT, “Premaitha” or the “Company”), a leading international molecular diagnostics group focused on prenatal testing, announces that the Company’s application for its Swiss customer, Genoma SA (“Genoma”), to be placed into bankruptcy for non-payment of debts has been successful (the “Ruling”).
As previously announced in the Company’s interim results (see RNS announcement on 21 December 2016), Genoma had been experiencing financial difficulties. On 21 April 2017, Genoma’s parent company, Esperite (Euronext: ESP), announced it had concluded a fundraising exercise. These funds have not, apparently, been made available to Genoma and, following proceedings instigated by Premaitha in the Swiss courts, the official Swiss commercial register has today confirmed the Ruling in favour of Premaitha’s application.
While it is anticipated that a full provision will be required in the accounts to 31 March 2017 for the outstanding debt owed to Premaitha by Genoma of approximately £750,000, the Company will now vigorously pursue all options to recover the debt or equivalent assets and will provide further updates in due course.
Furthermore, Premaitha believes Genoma’s bankruptcy presents a commercial opportunity to sell to the sizeable NIPT customer base which had been built up in Switzerland and certain other European countries by Genoma when they were using the IONA® test from Premaitha, but which Genoma had recently been converting to their own in-house successor product. Premaitha will target these customers directly and through its recently expanded distribution network.
Additionally, Genoma’s bankruptcy simplifies the ongoing UK intellectual property litigation against Premaitha as there will no longer be a parallel action in Switzerland.
The Company understands that Genoma has a short period in which to appeal the Ruling and will make a further announcement if applicable.
Dr Stephen Little, CEO, commented: “The Swiss court ruling to place Genoma into bankruptcy is a positive development in an otherwise unfortunate situation as it will now accelerate our pursuit of the recovery of this debt in various possible forms from Esperite or the official receiver. Moreover, there is a commercial opportunity now to secure and build on the NIPT customer base they had built using the IONA® test both within and outside of Switzerland.”
This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014.
For more information, please contact:
Premaitha Health plc
Dr Stephen Little, Chief Executive Office
Barry Hextall, Chief Financial Officer
Joanne Cross, Head of Marketing
Tel: +44 (0) 161 667 6865
Cairn Financial Advisers LLP (Nomad)
Liam Murray / James Caithie
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7213 0880
Adrian Hargrave / Scott Mathieson (Corporate Finance)
Tony Quirke (Corporate Broking)
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7220 0500
Ben Simons / Fiona Henson / Antonia Pollock
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7830 9700
Premaitha is an international molecular diagnostics group which uses the latest advances in DNA analysis technology to develop safer, faster and regulatory approved genetic screening tests. The Group’s primary focus is on non-invasive prenatal tests (NIPT) for pregnant women - an emerging, multi-billion dollar global market.
Premaitha’s IONA® test was launched in 2015 as the first CE-IVD NIPT test in Europe. It enables laboratories and healthcare practitioners to offer a complete CE-marked NIPT system in-house. The IONA® test is performed on a maternal blood sample – which contains traces of fetal DNA – and estimates the risk of a fetus being affected with Down’s syndrome or other genetic conditions.
Unlike existing prenatal screening methods, due to its high level of accuracy, the IONA® test can significantly reduce the number of women subjected to unnecessary invasive follow up diagnostic procedures, such as amniocentesis, which are costly, resource intensive and carry a risk of miscarriage.
In March 2017, Premaitha acquired Yourgene Bioscience, a specialist next generation sequencing and bioinformatics company based in Taiwan, with its own NIPT screening test that operates on the same Thermo Fisher next-generation sequencing platform as Premaitha’s IONA® test. Yourgene brings significant benefits to the Group through expanded market access in Asia – the world's fastest growing NIPT market – as well as opportunities for cross-selling and the ability to jointly develop expanded test content both within NIPT and beyond.
Premaitha is headquartered in Manchester, England, with Yourgene offices in Taipei and Singapore. Its shares trade on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange (AIM: NIPT). For further information, please visit www.premaitha.com. Follow us on twitter @PremaithaHealth.