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Premaitha Health Appoints Distribution Partners for NIPT in the Middle East

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Premaitha Health said today that it has signed up two distribution partners for its noninvasive prenatal Iona test in the Middle East, who have sold the test to several customers.

The new Middle Eastern customers are expected to run more than 10,000 samples per year once the Iona test is fully operational at their sites, Premaitha said.

Integrated Gulf Biosystems is distributing the UK company's test in the United Arab Emirates and in Saudi Arabia and has already sold it to unnamed customers in Dubai and Saudi Arabia.

The Dubai customer will initially send out samples to Premaitha's Manchester lab but plans to implement the test in its own laboratory later this year. At that time, it will process samples from other hospitals in its local network, as well as samples from West Africa.

The customer in Saudi Arabia also plans to run the test at its own service laboratory later this year and will send samples to St. George's Hospital in London in the meantime.

Premaitha has also appointed an unnamed distribution partner in Kuwait. That distributor has sold the Iona test to an unidentified customer, who plans to send samples to Premaitha's Manchester lab first and to install the test technology at its own site later this year once demand grows.

Premaitha said that Illumina and Sequenom's NIPT patents, which Illumina has been asserting in Europe in numerous lawsuits against Premaitha, Roche's Ariosa Diagnostics, and their customers, are not present in the Middle East.

"We are pleased to report increasing traction in the Middle East, where our existing installations are exceeding expectations and where we are seeing strong demand in local hospitals through our distributor network," said Premaitha CEO Stephen Little in a statement. "This is a strategically important region which is unaffected by ongoing intellectual property disputes, and therefore further de-risks the company’s position in this regard."