Premaitha rewarded for hatchet burial


The non-invasive prenatal testing specialist Premaitha Health is the most recent company to discover that legally discretion is the better part of valour, having signed a licence with the sequencing giant Illumina that puts to rest the companies’ long-running patent dispute. Premaitha will now develop a version of its Iona test, which detects circulating foetal DNA in the mother’s blood to diagnose Down’s, Edwards and Patau syndromes and runs on Illumina sequencers. The aim is to get this CE marked and launched by early 2020, whereupon Premaitha will be free to sell it in countries including those covered by the European Patent Convention. The UK group will pay Illumina a royalty for each sample tested using the new form of Iona, but before that will hand over settlement fees approaching £1m ($1.3m). The 11% rise so far today in Premaitha’s share price suggests that investors are willing to tolerate this outlay in exchange for a more secure future.

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