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Premaitha Vows to Recover $970K From Bankrupt Swiss Customer Genoma, Take Over NIPT Business

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Premaitha Health said today that its Swiss customer Genoma has been placed into bankruptcy, allowing the firm to recover payments it is owed by Genoma and to sell its noninvasive prenatal Iona test to Genoma's customers.

UK-based Premaitha said Genoma owes it £750,000 ($970,000) and that it had asked the Swiss courts to place Genoma into bankruptcy for non-payment of debts. The firm said that the Swiss commercial register today confirmed the ruling in favor of Premaitha's application.  

The decision comes after Esperite, Genoma's Dutch parent company, announced a fundraising round in April but apparently did not make these funds available to Genoma, Premaitha said.

"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," Premaitha CEO Stephen Little said in a statement. "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."

Premaitha said that Genoma had recently converted its NIPT customers from the Iona test to an in-house developed test, and that it plans to target these customers through its recently expanded distribution network.

In 2015, Premaitha had signed an agreement with Esperite, under which Genoma had the right to perform the Iona test in Switzerland and offer it as a testing service called Tranquility. At the time, Little had said that the agreement was Premaitha's first sale in Europe and a "major milestone." The year before, Genoma had signed an agreement with Illumina to develop a NIPT using Illumina's NGS technology.

In 2015, Illumina sued Premaitha in the UK for alleged infringement of two of its NIPT-related patents, and  a year later filed a similar lawsuit in Switzerland against Genoma, claiming infringement of four of its European NIPT patents.

Premaitha said that Genoma's bankruptcy simplifies the ongoing IP disputes as there will no longer be parallel actions in the UK and in Switzerland.