15 May 2018 – Premaitha expands footprint with new laboratories in Kenya and India

Premaitha Health plc
(“Premaitha” or the “Company”)

Premaitha expands footprint with new laboratories in Kenya and India

Manchester, UK – 15 May 2018: Premaitha Health plc (AIM: NIPT), a leading international molecular diagnostics group focused on non-invasive prenatal testing (“NIPT”), announces that it has further extended its customer base, adding two new laboratory hubs, one in Kenya – a new territory for Premaitha – and the other in India.

In Kenya, the Group has signed an agreement with Massive Genomics, part of the Nairobi IVF Centre in Kenya, to establish a dedicated NIPT centre. The Nairobi IVF Centre intends to offer NIPT to each of the c. 5,000 women who visit the centre each year. The laboratory will be set up directly by Premaitha, with Massive Genomics, and will be operational by September 2018.

There is a high level of understanding and awareness of the benefits of NIPT in Kenya, but currently all NIPT samples are sent out of the country for analysis, resulting in a delay between the sample being taken and the results being received. The Massive Genomics laboratory will be the first to offer NIPT in-country.

In addition, as the only laboratory in the region capable of processing NIPT in-house, there is potential for Massive Genomics to broaden its scope into other east African countries with which it has relations, such as Uganda, Botswana and Tanzania.  

The Group has also signed an agreement with a leading laboratory group in India to set up an NIPT-focused laboratory in Gujarat, a region in the northwest which, once installed, is expected to act as a hub for a network of laboratories across India.

NIPT is in the early phase of development in India but, with over 26 million births per annum, and increasing awareness of the benefits of NIPT, Premaitha expects India will be a key growth market as the Company continues to grow its presence in the region.

Premaitha’s IONA® test estimates the risk of a fetus being affected with Down’s syndrome or other genetic conditions. The test is performed on a maternal blood sample, containing traces of fetal DNA, which is then analysed using next generation DNA sequencing technology. The test is highly accurate and significantly reduces the number of women who are unnecessarily subjected to risky, invasive follow up procedures to diagnose Down’s syndrome and other genetic conditions.

Dr Stephen Little, CEO of Premaitha Health, commented: “I am pleased to report further progress in growing our footprint in key growth markets. Kenya is another international territory which we believe will, when fully established, contribute a growing number of recurring test sales. Massive Genomics is well placed to draw demand for NIPT from both within Kenya and the surrounding region. We also continue to build upon our presence in India, where we believe there are substantial opportunities underpinned by continued growth in demand for NIPT, driven by both increasing awareness and accessibility.”

This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014.

For more information, please contact:
Premaitha Health PLC
Dr Stephen Little, Chief Executive Officer
Barry Hextall, Chief Financial Officer
Joanne Cross, Head of Marketing
Tel: +44 (0)161 667 1053

Cairn Financial Advisers LLP (NOMAD)
Liam Murray / James Caithie
Tel: +44 (0)20 7213 0880

finnCap (Broker)
Adrian Hargrave / Scott Mathieson (Corporate Finance)
Andrew Burdis / Abigail Wayne (Corporate Broking)
Tel: +44 (0)20 7220 0500

Vigo Communications
Ben Simons / Fiona Henson / Antonia Pollock
Tel: +44 (0)20 7830 9700

About Premaitha

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 current primary focus is on non-invasive prenatal tests (NIPT) for pregnant women – an emerging, multi-billion dollar global market – although the Group intends to expand its product range into other areas of clinical genetics.

Premaitha’s first product, the 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 solution 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.

From May 2018, the Group will trade as Yourgene Health outside of Europe (but remaining as Yourgene Bioscience in Taiwan) reflecting the increased scope of the business in other areas of clinical genetics further to reproductive health; but will maintain the Premaitha Health brand within Europe.

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.