14 October 2015 – Premaitha opens dedicated clinical laboratory with expanded capacity to meet demand for IONA® test service

Issued on behalf of Premaitha Health plc
Manchester, UK: Wednesday, 14 October

Premaitha opens dedicated clinical laboratory with expanded capacity to meet demand for IONA® test service

Manchester, UK – 14 October 2015 – Premaitha Health plc (AIM: NIPT, “Premaitha” or “the Company”), developer of the IONA® test, the first CE-marked non-invasive prenatal screening test (NIPT) has expanded its in-house NIPT screening service by opening a dedicated laboratory which triples clinical capacity in response to demand for the IONA® test from clinicians.

The new Care Quality Commission (CQC)-accredited, clinical laboratory which is based at Premaitha’s headquarters on Manchester Science Park, will enable Premaitha to dramatically increase throughput of the maternal blood samples analysed each month using the IONA® test.

The IONA® test estimates the risk of a fetus being affected by Down’s syndrome and other serious genetic conditions such as Patau’s syndrome and Edwards’ syndrome by analysing cell-free DNA from a sample of maternal blood. The test is more sensitive and specific than the current combined test available and provides a more accurate and reliable screening result within three to five days, compared to the lead time of up to 14 days offered by US and China-based NIPT service laboratories.

Premaitha began offering an NIPT clinical laboratory service on a smaller scale in July 2015 to allow new customers to provide pregnant women with access to the IONA® test as soon as possible, during the set-up of their own lab or while they grow their NIPT volumes. The service also provides an important back-up option during busy periods, ensuring results are delivered to healthcare professionals on-time and from a regulated and trusted clinical laboratory.

Since initiating the in-house service, the Company has seen demand for the IONA® test increase significantly with service laboratory customers from across the UK and internationally. Premaitha also provides its customers with advice and support in the logistics of shipping blood samples in a cost-effective, safe, compliant and rapid manner.

Barry Hextall, CFO of Premaitha said: “The decision to expand our NIPT in-house service has been driven by demand from clinicians for the fast, accurate and accredited results provided by the IONA® test. These additional laboratory facilities and our extended team of specialists who run the IONA® test service means we can offer the benefits of the first and only CE-marked in-vitro diagnostic product for NIPT to more pregnant women, sooner.  This also fulfils one of the commercialisation objectives stated at the time of the recent fundraising.”


For photography images of the new service laboratory please contact Instinctif Partners.

For more information, please contact:    
Premaitha Health plc
Dr Stephen Little, Chief Executive Officer
Jo Cross, Head of Marketing

Tel: +44 (0) 161 667 6865
Email: investors@premaitha.com      

Cairn Financial Advisers LLP (NOMAD)
Liam Murray / Avi Robinson

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7148 7900

Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited (Broker)
Robert Naylor / Freddy Crossley / Maisie Rose Atkinson

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7886 2500

Instinctif Partners (Media)
Jen Lewis / Emma Barlow    

Tel: +44 (0) 207 457  2020
Email: premaitha@instinctif.com

About Premaitha Health

Premaitha is an innovative molecular diagnostics company employing the latest advances in DNA analysis technology to develop tests for non-invasive prenatal screening (NIPT) and other applications. Premaitha’s flagship product, the IONA® test is the first non-invasive in vitro diagnostic product for prenatal screening enabling clinical laboratories to offer CE-marked NIPT in-house for the first time.  

The IONA® test estimates the risk of a fetus having Down’s syndrome or other serious genetic diseases. The IONA® test has a higher detection rate and lower false positive rate than existing non-NIPT screening tests, giving pregnant women, their families and their doctors greater confidence in the result and reducing the need for unnecessary invasive follow-up tests and the associated anxiety and stress. The IONA® test is a complete diagnostic system that is simple and standardised, enabling Premaitha’s clinical laboratory customers to perform the test in their own facilities. This supports Premaitha’s strategy of accelerating the broad dissemination of NIPT tests to ensure that their benefits are available to pregnant women everywhere.  

Premaitha is listed on the London Stock Exchange (AIM). Its R&D, manufacturing and commercial operation is located at Manchester Science Park, UK. For further information please visit www.premaitha.com or email iona@premaitha.com.