Commercial breakthrough for Premaitha pre-natal test

MANCHESTER-based biotech firm Premaitha Health has won multiple contracts for its non-invasive prenatal test on pregnant women across Europe.

The deal provides women on the continent privately and in the UK on the NHS with access to its ground breaking IONA test which detects the possibly of Downs syndrome in unborn children.

The AIM-listed company headquartered at Manchester Science Park has established a new enabling and clinical lab with plans to further increase capacity to meet significant and ongoing demand and substantial new international client enquiries.

Its operating loss for the year ended March 31 was  in the range of £4.9m to £5.3m, reflecting additional development activities of £1 million to £1.2 million and a provision for litigation costs of £0.5m as a result of the patent infringement suit lodged by US company Illumina, Inc. in March   followed by a robust defence and counterclaim filed by Premaitha in the High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, Patents Court in May.

Chairman of Premaitha David Evans said: “Premaitha has hit its key milestones as promised at the time of the reverse.

“We have delivered the world’s first CE-marked diagnostic product, signed contracts across Europe, including launching the first NHS test in the UK, and achieved recognition amongst our peers and key opinion leaders.

“This has all been achieved in a short period of time and is despite wholly opportunistic legal obstacles placed in our path.

“Premaitha is at the forefront of a revolution in prenatal screening which will benefit pregnant women and healthcare professionals. Our intention is to accelerate the roll-out of the IONA® test by working closely with our partners, customers and respective Health Authorities to make it as widely available to pregnant women as possible.

“We are bringing leading scientists to Manchester and creating high quality jobs in the north of England. We look forward to actively engaging with the Northern Powerhouse initiative to ensure indigenous world-class companies such as ours thrive.”