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Thermo Fisher to Provide £5M Loan to Premaitha Health as Firm's H1 2016 Revenues Climb

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Premaitha Health said today that it has signed an agreement under which Thermo Fisher Scientific will provide it with a £5 million ($7.6 million) loan. The UK-based noninvasive prenatal test provider also reported £0.6 million in revenues for the first half of its fiscal year 2016 today.

Thermo Fisher will invest £5 million in Premaitha as a secured loan facility, of which the company will receive £3 million initially and the remainder as milestone payments over the next two years.

The loan is repayable between Dec. 14, 2022 and Dec. 14, 2023. Interest, which will accrue at 6 percent per year, is payable quarterly in arrears or can be converted into loan principal.

In return, Premaitha will issue warrants for 20,325,204 new ordinary shares to Thermo Fisher at an exercise price of 24.6 pence per share, representing 8.2 percent of the firm's issued share capital, or 7.1 percent on a fully diluted basis. These warrants will expire after eight years.

"This investment will enable us to expand our global reach, [and] support our marketing and clinical and technical capabilities. It will also provide future product development opportunities in the rapidly growing noninvasive prenatal testing market," Premaitha CEO Stephen Little said in a statement.

The company's CE-marked Iona NIPT uses Thermo Fisher's Ion Proton sequencer and Ion Chef sample prep instrument.

Premaitha also reported earnings today for the first half of its fiscal year 2016, which ended Sept. 30. The company booked £600,000 in revenues from the Iona test, which it launched in February, up from £100,000 during the same period last year.

The company had a loss before one-off and non-cash items of £2.7 million, up from £2.3 million during the first half of fiscal 2014, reflecting staff recruitment, product development, and commercialization activities.

In July, the firm raised £8 million, at 20 pence per share, through an oversubscribed placement.

During the first half of FY 2016, Premaitha also increased its provision for anticipated litigation costs to £1.9 million to defend itself against patent infringement claims from Illumina.

"We continue to enhance the [Iona] test for laboratory efficiency and include clinically relevant features such as the recently added fetal sex determination option," Little said in a statement. "We remain on course for our target of 10 contract wins this financial year, despite the unpredictable timing inherent in such a complex sales process and the distraction of a non-CE marked competitor's litigation."

During the first half of 2016, the company installed the Iona test in four laboratories in the UK, Switzerland, and Poland.

As of Sept. 30, Premaitha had £6.6 million in cash reserves.

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