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Premaitha Licenses NIPT Tech From Illumina Under Settlement

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Premaitha Health said today that it has settled its patent dispute and signed a licensing and supply agreement with Illumina related to noninvasive prenatal testing technology.

Under the agreement, Manchester, UK-based Premaitha has licensed Illumina's NIPT patent pool, allowing it to offer testing in Europe and other countries covered by the intellectual property.

Premaitha will also develop a version of its Iona test — which currently runs on sequencing instrumentation from Thermo Fisher Scientific — that is compatible with Illumina's sequencing technology by early 2020, and will work with its customers in countries covered by the agreement to migrate Iona tests to Illumina's platform.

In addition, within nine months Premaitha plans to submit documentation to obtain CE-IVD certification for the Illumina-compatible Iona test in Europe. Following the launch of the test, Premaitha will pay Illumina a royalty for each sample tested.

Furthermore, Premaitha will make a series of payments, estimated to total up to £1 million ($1.3 million), to Illumina to settle all ongoing UK litigation.

"These agreements mark the end of a three-and-a-half-year intellectual property dispute and the beginning of a new era whereby the [Premaitha Health] group, working with Illumina, has the ability to provide NIPT to meet rapidly growing global demand," said Premaitha CEO Lyn Rees in a statement. Working with Illumina will allow Premaitha to serve a "much larger addressable market," Rees added.

Premaitha launched Iona in 2015 as a CE-IVD NIPT test in Europe. Shortly after the launch, Illumina sued the company for patent infringement, and later on, some of Premaitha's customers. In 2017, Illumina filed another patent suit against Premaitha in the UK.

In 2017, Premaitha acquired Yourgene Bioscience in Taiwan, expanding its market for NIPT to Asia. Premaitha, which trades as Yourgene Health outside of Europe, and as Yourgene Bioscience in Taiwan, is headquartered in Manchester and has offices in Taipei and Singapore. Earlier this year, it reported £6.2 million in revenues for its fiscal year 2017.