Premaitha Health PLC
(“Premaitha” or the “Company”)
Manchester, UK – 3 July 2017: Premaitha Health PLC (AIM: NIPT), a leading international molecular diagnostics group focused on non-invasive prenatal testing (“NIPT”), provides the following update on the legal proceedings in connection with patent infringement suits filed by Illumina, Inc. and others (together the “Claimants”). The patents in issue in these proceedings fall into three families: European Patent (UK) 0 994 963; European Patent (UK) 1 981 995 and its divisional, European Patent (UK) 2 385 143; and European Patent (UK) 2 183 693 and its divisional, European Patent (UK) 2 514 842.
The trial will commence in the Patents Court, one of the specialist courts of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales (the “Court”) on 4 July 2017 and is expected to last approximately three weeks. The trial will focus on a complex variety of interconnected patent claims and will involve testimony from a series of renowned experts in their respective fields. As part of its defence, Premaitha is seeking declarations from the Court that certain new processes which Premaitha is developing would not infringe the patents in suit. The first-instance judgment is expected to be handed down in the autumn, after which both Premaitha and the Claimants may be entitled to appeal.
Dr Stephen Little, CEO of Premaitha, commented:
“The matters which are the subject of the trial commencing this week have been a distraction to Premaitha and to its customers. I am therefore pleased that proceedings will shortly be underway. Despite the actions taken by Illumina in bringing these claims, Premaitha has continued to provide a high-quality service to an ever increasing and geographically diverse global customer base. We are determined that women should not be denied choice and access to high quality localised screening, which Premaitha’s products provide. We are confident of our position and in the meantime we continue our strategy of geographic and product diversification to mitigate the risks of the UK actions.”
For more information, please contact:
Premaitha Health plc
Dr Stephen Little, Chief Executive Office
Barry Hextall, Chief Financial Officer
Joanne Cross, Head of Marketing
Tel: +44 (0) 161 667 6865
Cairn Financial Advisers LLP (Nomad)
Liam Murray / James Caithie
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7213 0880
Adrian Hargrave / Scott Mathieson (Corporate Finance)
Tony Quirke (Corporate Broking)
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7220 0500
Ben Simons / Fiona Henson / Antonia Pollock
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7830 9700
Premaitha is an international molecular diagnostics group which uses the latest advances in DNA analysis technology to develop safer, faster and regulatory approved genetic screening tests. The Group’s primary focus is on non-invasive prenatal tests (NIPT) for pregnant women – an emerging, multi-billion dollar global market.
Premaitha’s IONA® test was launched in 2015 as the first CE-IVD NIPT test in Europe. It enables laboratories and healthcare practitioners to offer a complete CE-marked NIPT system in-house. The IONA® test is performed on a maternal blood sample – which contains traces of placental DNA – and estimates the risk of a fetus being affected with Down’s syndrome or other genetic conditions.
Unlike existing prenatal screening methods, due to its high level of accuracy, the IONA® test can significantly reduce the number of women subjected to unnecessary invasive follow up diagnostic procedures, such as amniocentesis, which are costly, resource intensive and carry a risk of miscarriage.
In March 2017, Premaitha acquired Yourgene Bioscience, a specialist next generation sequencing and bioinformatics company based in Taiwan, with its own NIPT screening test that operates on the same Thermo Fisher next-generation sequencing platform as Premaitha’s IONA® test. Yourgene brings significant benefits to the Group through expanded market access in Asia – the world’s fastest growing NIPT market – as well as opportunities for cross-selling and the ability to jointly develop expanded test content both within NIPT and beyond.
Premaitha is headquartered in Manchester, England, with Yourgene offices in Taipei and Singapore. Its shares trade on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange (AIM: NIPT). For further information, please visit www.premaitha.com. Follow us on twitter @PremaithaHealth.