This article has been updated to correct Thermo Fisher Scientific's stake in Yourgene Health and to provide additional information about previous loan agreements.
NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Thermo Fisher Scientific has acquired a 9 percent stake in molecular diagnostic company Yourgene Health by exercising warrants it held in the company.
In addition, Thermo Fisher has further warrants that, if exercised, could take its ownership to 17 percent.
Under the terms of the agreement, Yourgene will exclusively promote its noninvasive prenatal testing products on Thermo Fisher's Ion Torrent next-generation sequencing systems in the Southeast Asia markets for three years.
Yourgene, formerly known as Premaitha Health, is headquartered in Manchester, UK, but also has offices in Taiwan and Singapore.
Thermo Fisher previously made several loans to Yourgene, including a £1.2 million ($3 million) loan last year to cover legal costs related to its litigation with Illumina, a $5 million loan in 2017, and a £5 million ($7.6 million) loan in 2015. Yourgene and Illumina settled their dispute last year, and Yourgene agreed to license Illumina's NIPT patents and develop a version of its Iona test on Illumina's NGS systems.
Under the new agreement, Yourgene will use proceeds of around £3.8 million to reduce its outstanding loan balance to Thermo Fisher. Thermo will write off the remaining £12.7 million of loans. Once Yourgene is cash positive, it will pay a commission on sales within Southeast Asia up to £6.5 million.
Lyn Rees, Yourgene CEO, said in a statement that the agreement will enable the company to "enter the new financial year effectively debt free, with no distractions from litigation, and with a strengthened leadership team that is aligned to deliver a platform-agnostic business both within NIPT and the wider genetic testing market."
Rees added that the company has "a strong pipeline of new product opportunities that will broaden our offering, making Yourgene even more relevant to our global partners."