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Citing Sluggish Protein Biomarker and Testing Business, NextGen Enters $1M Loan Agreement

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Citing lower than expected sales in its biomarker and testing business, protein biomarker firm NextGen Group said this week it has entered a convertible loan agreement with Alpha 4 Concepts for the provision of additional funding of £650,000 ($1.04 million).

The funding is required "in order to continue to fund the working capital requirements of the [firm] and the investments in the diagnostic business," the company said. It added that it expects that it will require further funding in the first quarter of 2012.

The loan was made at 12 percent interest for a period ending Oct. 31, 2012, and is convertible at the lender's option into ordinary shares in NextGen at a price of 0.1p per share plus one warrant for every share issued.

During the first half of 2011, NextGen embarked upon a reorganization of its business, moving into the plasma biomarker discovery space by launching a series of protein biomarker panels aimed at various therapeutic areas (PM 3/18/2011).

Previously the company had focused on providing custom biomarker services for pharma and biotech firms. Barry McAleer, CEO of NextGen Sciences, a wholly owned subsidiary of NextGen Group, told ProteoMonitor upon the launch of the panels that moving into the discovery panel space was an immediate tactical approach to generating cash, as well as "a way of finding more lucrative projects" in the diagnostics and personalized medicine space.

In September the company reported $948,279 in revenues for the first half of 2011, up 34 percent from $708,831 in the prior-year period. It posted a net loss of $1.59 million, down from $1.74 million in H1 2010.

It also disclosed in September that it had inked a $700,000 deal in June with an undisclosed client for biomarker qualification using its plasmadiscovery41 product. In August NextGen announced it had signed an agreement with the University of Nebraska for use of its csfdiscovery43 biomarker discovery assay to investigate biomarkers associated with cognitive abnormalities in patients chronically infected with HIV (PM 8/19/2011).

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