Premaitha Health plc
(“Premaitha” or the “Company”)
Further patent infringement claims received from Illumina & Sequenom
Manchester, UK – 7 September 2017: Premaitha Health plc (AIM: NIPT) announces that it has today received notification from Illumina and Sequenom that a further claim for patent infringement has been filed in the High Court of Justice in London.
Premaitha is a leading international molecular diagnostics group focused on non-invasive prenatal testing (“NIPT”) and has been robustly defending itself against previous claims from the same parties since March 2015. The new claim is that Premaitha’s IONA® test is alleged to infringe European Patent (UK) 1 524 321 82, known as the “321” patent, as filed by Sequenom in 2003. The other claims were of a similar nature and were heard by the UK High Court in July 2017, with the initial ruling anticipated in or around November 2017.
Dr Stephen Little, CEO, commented: “This latest claim uses old, publicly available information and we believe it is an attempt to abuse the legal process in the UK to obtain competitive advantage. That such large companies as Illumina and Sequenom should deem it necessary to compete in this way is disappointing but not unexpected, and we will robustly defend the company against these claims as well as bring their behaviour to the attention of the relevant competition authorities.
Providing high quality and effective prenatal screening to UK women remains a very important focus for us, despite these unwanted attentions. In parallel we continue to grow our much larger non-UK activities to diversify our operations.”
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 9701
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 fetal 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.