Epistem in £4.3m placing

MANCHESTER diagnostics firm Epistem is to raise £4.3m to support the commercial launch of its main product, the Genedrive.

The AIM-listed business is placing 793,398 ordinary shares with new and existing investors at £5.45 a share, a 4% discount to the closing price of £5.67 on December 6.

Epistem’s Genedrive is a machine which uses molecular diagnosis to provide a rapid test which can highlight a range of conditions within 30 minutes.

It plans to use the cash to support the use of the device for tuberculosis testing and a range of other infectious diseases in the coming years.

The firm has already signed a tuberculosis diagnostic supply and distribution agreements with Becton Dickinson and Xcelris Laboratories which it expects to generate $20-$30m a year over the next three to five years.

“The placing will fund an increase in resource and personnel dedicated to Genedrive as well as capital expenditure to significantly improve production capabilities and is aimed at establishing Genedrive as the leading molecular diagnostic platform…” said the company in a statement.

It added: “The net proceeds of the placing will provide the company with a strengthened balance sheet and enhance the company’s ability to pursue a range of strategic options in the future as the company’s various operating divisions continue to develop.”

Epistem was advised by a team from Pinsent Masons.