NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Premaitha Health today reported a doubling of revenues for its fiscal year 2017, which ended March 31, and said that it has raised £2.5 million ($3.37 million) in new funding through a share subscription. The firm also provided an update on its business and on its patent litigation with Illumina.
The UK company, which provides noninvasive prenatal testing, said that its unaudited revenues for FY 2017 increased to £6.2 million, from £3.1 million the previous year. The majority of this growth came from outside Europe, following Premaitha's acquisition of Yourgene Bioscience in Taiwan in March of 2017.
"Our first full year as the enlarged Premaitha group has been one of excellent commercial progress following the effective integration of the acquired Yourgene business," said CEO Stephen Little in a statement, adding that the company now provides NIPT services in more than 20 countries.
"Whilst there are IP challenges associated with operating in the NIPT space, there are also significant opportunities, and we will continue to develop our offering in this high-growth segment," he said.
International revenues increased to £3.8 million, from £0.9 million the previous year, in particular from countries in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, "where there is high population growth, lower IP risk, and a general receptiveness to new medical technologies," according to the company.
Premaitha said that it recently signed new deals with laboratories in Kenya and in India. With Massive Genomics, which is part of the Nairobi IVF Centre in Kenya, it plans to establish an NIPT center that intends to offer testing to 5,000 women per year. Premaitha plans to set up the laboratory, which is expected to become operational in September.
In addition, Premaitha signed an agreement with "a leading laboratory group" in India to set up an NIPT laboratory in Gujarat.
Revenues in the UK remained stable at £1.3 million, compared to £1.2 million the previous year. Adoption of NIPT by the National Health Service has focused on high-risk contingent screening, according to the company.
Revenues in other European countries totaled £1.1 million, compared to £1.0 last year, and came from "a significantly broader network of customers than in the prior year," Premaitha said.
The number of noninvasive prenatal tests the company sold increased more than 100 percent, to over 50,000, from 24,500 the previous year.
Premaitha also said that it has raised £2.5 million from issuing 55,527,784 new ordinary shares with investors and directors at a price of 4.5 pence per share. Of this amount, £950,000 was invested by company directors. It plans to use the new funding to continue the international expansion of its sales channels, develop new products for NIPT and other clinical applications, and to adapt current products "to provide a range of general purpose development tools for potential partners in other areas of clinical genetics."
The company has also issued 10,097,460 new shares at a price of 4.5 pence per share to satisfy £0.5 million in liabilities owed mostly to company directors.
Little said that the company plans to use its existing technology to develop additional products and services across the clinical genetics market, resulting in additional revenue streams. "We believe the combination of the Yourgene and Premaitha teams puts us in a unique position to successfully deliver clinical genetics capabilities in assay development, bioinformatics, and IVD commercialization," he said.
Regarding its patent litigation with Illumina, Premaitha said that it has paid £2 million that UK courts imposed against it at a hearing in January, following a patent trial held in the UK last July. Premaitha said it is appealing the decision, and that the appeal is expected to be heard in the first quarter of 2019.
As ordered by the court in January, Premaitha is also paying a 10 percent royalty on UK sales into escrow. It has made the first payment of £30,000 and expects to make similar payments each quarter until the appeal is heard.
Premaitha said it is "now working with new legal advisors to implement a strategy that will minimize the ongoing cost outlay in the UK, whilst achieving the best outcome for the group as a whole, given its international focus." At the same time, the company is in discussion with Illumina about a potential settlement. Also, in response to the UK court's decision on the NIPT patents, it is "adapting its product development roadmap."
The company plans to continue to trade as Premaitha Health in Europe and as Yourgene Bioscience in Taiwan. Outside of Europe, it plans to use only the Yourgene Health brand going forward.